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Korea’s College Admissions Fees Under Scrutiny

Posted December. 17, 2007 03:03,   


According to reports, college application fees vary greatly, with the most expensive fees around five times the cheapest, and students who have their applications denied rarely receive refunds for their essay writing and oral tests.

Critics are pointing to the use of application fee revenue by universities after it was discovered that some are spending the money on building construction.

These findings were announced at the “policy making discussion session on the improvement of college application fees” on December 14, according to the Ministry of Planning and Budget.

According to a survey of 42 universities nationwide conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency, most universities do not issue refunds to applicants.

In the early admissions process, only thirteen universities among 42 refunded application fees for students who failed to pass the first screening process even if they did not take essay writing and oral examinations.

In the early admissions process for art and sports majors, only three universities refunded fees paid by students who did not make it to the practical tests.

In the regular admissions process for humanity and science majors, only seven universities guaranteed a refund for those not taking essay writing and oral tests and those who failed to pass the preliminary process. For applicants majoring in art and sports, only five universities among the 42 made application fee repayments to students who had their applications denied.

In addition, the results have shown that application fees differ greatly.

Regular admission fees for humanity and science majors ranged from 30,000 to 60,000 won for public universities, while private ones ranged from 30,000 to 120,000 won. For applicants to art and sports colleges, the fees for public universities ranged from 30,000 to 90,000, and the fees for private schools ranged from 30,000 to 120,000 won.

As for early admission process fees, the fees for public universities ranged from 30,000 to 60,000 won, while private ones ranged from 30,000 to 150,000 won. For art and sports colleges, the application fee ranged from 30,000 to 70,000 won for public schools, and 40,000 to 160,000 won for private.

The Korea Consumer Agency said, according to their survey conducted on students and parents, that 94.9 percent of the respondents found application fees expensive: 52 percent of them answered “very expensive,” 42.9 percent answered “expensive,” and only 4.9 percent said the fees were “reasonable.”