“A uniform application fee regime must be brought in”
As board examinations slowly fade into memory and students prepare for their results, the season of obtaining application forms for various courses has begun.
Most government and self-financing institutions have started issuing application forms for admission into professional as well as arts and science courses. But, with intense competition pushing students to have multiple backup options, application fee collected along with the forms seems to have become a revenue-generating option for colleges, say parents and students.
G. Abdul Haseeb, a parent, says “Some professional colleges give 15-page application forms with pictures of the college library and canteen printed on glossy paper. As a result, they charge exorbitant amount as application fee.”
He says that it especially affects students in the 60-to-75 percentile category who might want to keep options open and end up applying to many colleges. “Some kind of regulation is needed and a uniform application fee regime must be brought in.”
K.Ramnath, awaiting his class XII results, says “My parents wanted me to apply to many courses. I have already spent more than Rs.2,000 on application forms. I will also be applying for law and a couple of bachelors programmes.”
Students also say that if one applies for two or more courses in some colleges, a separate fee has to be paid each time. The application cost of popular courses such as B.Sc Visual Communication is twice that of a B.Com course in the same college.
S.Narasimhan, principal, DG Vaishnav College, which is an aided institution, says that irrespective of the number of courses in a college, there must be only one application form. “Students can give their course preference in a single form. Government guidelines also clearly state that colleges must give out applications only after the Class XII results are announced. Students have to be given the chance to make an informed choice.” Higher Education Secretary, K. Ganesan, said that there was no reason for one college to have multiple forms. “Instructions will be issued to all colleges in this regard immediately.”