Student Tuition Protection Fund

Certified private training institutions make regular payments to the Student Tuition Protection Fund (the Fund). You may be entitled to a tuition refund from the Fund if the institution in which you are enrolled:

  • Closes before you can complete your approved program, or
  • Misleads you about a significant aspect of your approved program

The Fund does not protect students at uncertified institutions or students in programs that are not approved. 

Check the Private Training Institution Directory to see whether a particular institution is certified and whether a particular program is approved.  Your enrolment contract, if you have one, must also state whether you as a student are entitled to file a claim against the Fund.

Claim Based on Institution Closure

If your institution closes before you can complete your program, you can file a claim on the Fund.  If a comparable program is identified by the registrar, any amount released from the Fund will be paid to a certified institution chosen to provide you with a comparable program to complete your training.

If there is no comparable program available, or if you are able to show special circumstances that would prevent you from completing the comparable program that was identified, any amount released from the Fund will be paid first to the government if you have provincial or federal student loans, and any remaining balance paid to you.

For more information, contact the Student Claims Officer or read more about making a claim.

Claim Based on Being Misled

If you believe your institution misled you about a significant aspect of an approved program and you are unable to resolve the issue through the institution’s dispute resolution process, you can file a claim with PTIB.  If your claim is successful, you can receive a full or partial refund from the Fund of the tuition you paid to the institution.

You must file the claim within one year of completing, being dismissed or withdrawing from your program.  PTIB will not accept this type of claim unless you have first exhausted the institution's internal dispute resolution process.

Examples which may constitute being misled:

  • Your student enrolment contract provides for a certain length of program and you find when you begin classes the length of the program has significantly changed without your consent
  • Significant aspects of the program content, equipment or facilities are not as advertised

Examples which likely do not constitute being misled include:

  • You fail an exam
  • You dislike an instructor

How the Claim Process Works

The tables below outline the processes for claims against the Fund for each of the two allowable grounds.

For the claim to be accepted for filing, a student must submit all of the information and records specified on the claim form by the deadline for filing a claim. The trustee cannot extend this deadline.

While deadlines apply to parts of the process, the trustee may extend, at the request of the student or the institution or on his or her own initiative, the time for responses and submissions. The trustee may also consolidate consideration of the claim with any other claim.

Who

What

When

Student

File a claim using the form at (link forthcoming)

Within one year of the date of institution closure

Trustee

Give a summary of the claim to the institution

Within 15 days of receiving the claim from the student

Closed institution

May respond to the claim

Within seven days of receiving the summary from the trustee

Registrar

Determine whether a comparable program is available at another institution (the train-out institution).

If no comparable program is identified – including as a result of the student not meeting the admission requirements established by the train-out institution – the registrar will forward the claim to the trustee.

 

If there is a comparable program

Student

May:

  • Accept enrollment in the comparable program at the train-out institution, or
  • Reject enrollment at the train-out institution, citing special circumstances; this is done by submitting a form (form forthcoming) to the registrar.

Registrar

If the registrar determines that special circumstances prevent the student from attending the comparable program, the claim will be forwarded to the trustee.

If the registrar determines that there are no special circumstances, the student may still elect to accept the train-out option and file a claim on the Fund.

If the student signs an enrollment contract with the train-out institution

Train-out institution

Provides a copy of the contract to the registrar

Trustee

Pays the appropriate amount to the train-out institution

Closed institution

Reimburses the Fund for the payment to the train-out institution

If  there is no comparable program, or the registrar has accepted the special circumstances cited by the student

Trustee

Adjudicates the claim to determine whether any refund should be issued, and provides written reasons to the student, the institution and the registrar

 

Who

What

When

Student

Files a claim using form available on the PTIB website

Within one year of completing, being dismissed from or withdrawing from the program

Trustee

Gives a copy of the claim to the institution

Within 15 days of receiving the claim from the student

Institution

May respond to the claim

Within 15 days of receiving a copy of the claim from the trustee

Trustee

Gives the response from the institution, if any, to the student

Within 15 days of receiving the response from the institution

Student

May reply to the response from the institution

 

Within 15 days of receiving the response from the trustee

Trustee

Must give the reply from the student, if any, to the institution

Within 15 days of receiving the  reply from the student

Trustee

Adjudicates the claim to determine whether any refund should be issued, and provides written reasons to the student, the institution and the registrar.

Before accepting a claim on the ground a student was misled by an institution, PTIB will conduct a review to make sure the claim:
  • Has been submitted within the required time
  • Is within PTIB’s jurisdiction
  • Includes evidence that you exhausted the institution's internal dispute resolution process
  • Includes all supporting documentation

For more information, contact the Student Claims Officer.

Anyone can make a complaint against a private training institution in B.C.  General complaints do not lead to claims on the Fund and the PTIB will not provide an update on the resulting investigation. You may report:

  • A non-certified institution that is providing programs that require approval
  • Concerns that certified institution is not operating in compliance with the Private Training Act or regulations

All complaints should be submitted to the Student Claims Officer.

Useful Contacts

Please contact the Student Claims Officer for more information about filing a claim or complaint.

Email:PTI.StudentSupport@gov.bc.ca