Program Terms & Conditions

Reviewed and Revised as of 12 June 2015

The Terms and Conditions as outlined below pertain to the Summer 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, and Academic Year 2015-2016 programs and supersede any other published policies pertaining to these terms.

This section includes general Freedom University and Freedom Corps Ghana Program policies, Academic Policies, Program Fees and Payment Policies.

Freedom University reserves the right to modify or cancel any statement in the program descriptions and information as listed at www.freedomghana.org, or in the hard copy program catalogs, without prior notice and accepts no responsibility for the consequences of such changes.

GENERAL POLICIES

Program participants are governed by and responsible for complying with four sets of policies:

  • The contract entered into by each Program participant
  • Policies set by Freedom University U.S.-based staff and/or the Freedom University Board for all Freedom University programs.
  • Policies set by the host institution.
  • Policies set by the participant’s home institution.

In the case of conflict among these four sets of policies, the Participant Contract first applies, and then the most stringent policy shall apply. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to become familiar with these policies and with any more demanding policies that may be imposed by his/her home institution.

Admission

Freedom University works with home institutions regarding the processing of applications for Freedom Corps Ghana and other University programs. In nominating participants, home institutions have the responsibility to evaluate applicants’ credentials carefully and to determine their suitability for the selected programs. Endorsement of an individual applicant constitutes an assurance that the participant meets the minimum admission standards for the program, that the participant is prepared linguistically, academically, and socially to succeed and derive benefits from the program; and that it is appropriate for the participant’s academic program and goals.

Acceptance to all Freedom University programs is done on a rolling basis by Freedom University staff.

Freedom University reserves the right to reject an applicant for any reason. Freedom University encourages participants to apply as early as possible to ensure a spot on their desired program. In cases where Freedom University receives applications in excess of capacity, Freedom University will create a waitlist of applicants based on the date the complete application was received in North Carolina. Incomplete applications will not be considered. In waitlist situations, Freedom University favors applicants from pre-booked Freedom University Academic Partner institutions. Freedom University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status, national and ethnic origin, or disability.

Late Arrival to a Program

Participants are required to be present from the first day of the program orientation (see note 4 below). In extremely rare cases, there may be valid academic or personal reasons for a participant to arrive late. Permission for such arrangements can only be granted by the appropriate Freedom University Enrollment Manager in North Carolina and only upon receipt of a written request from the appropriate officer at the participant’s home institution. In no case are such arrangements authorized by Resident Directors.

Participant Program Orientation

The home institution will provide informational material covering relevant academic matters prior to the participant’s departure. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to be familiar with this information and the policies of the home institution.

An extensive Freedom University program orientation takes place at the program site, which all participants are required to attend.

Facilities and Access

Ghana is not an easy place to visit for people with reduced mobility or other physical challenges.  Disability access for facilities in Ghana is extremely limited, and there is very little government help available.

Moving around can be extremely difficult for disabled people. The streets and pavements are uneven and few buildings provide ramps and handrails to aid disabled access. Larger resorts and tourist attractions may provide facilities for disabled people, but in rural areas public transport is limited and often inaccessible to wheelchair users.Guide dogs are rare and there are few audio signals for the blind at traffic crossings. Public transport is not usually equipped to facilitate disabled access. Public buses are inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Therefore, those who attempt to travel with disabilities in Ghana can have a challenging time. Experts have counseled Freedom University to discourage people with reduced mobility or other physical challenges, from taking part in this program. Freedom University will make every effort to provide facilities for these individuals, in future years.

Drug and Alcohol Violations

Penalties for drug violations in many host countries are often harsher than in the United States. Use of drugs other than prescribed drugs for legal medicinal purposes may result in expulsion from the study program, as well as possible criminal prosecution. Remember that participants traveling abroad are subject to the laws of the country they are visiting – their own country’s laws do not protect them. The U.S. and other governments can only seek to ensure (but cannot guarantee) that their citizens are not discriminated against, that is, that they receive the same treatment as citizens of the country in which they are arrested who are charged with the same offense.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

In addition, participants are subject to the laws of the host country and any policies and regulations of the host university. Drug or alcohol abuse by participants is viewed by Freedom University as a serious violation of the terms of participation and can result in dismissal from the program.

ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT AND POLICIES

Participants are solely responsible for their own academic success and are expected to report any concerns they may have regarding academic matters to the Freedom University Resident Director as they arise. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to obtain complete information concerning how academic work completed overseas is assessed by the home institution, and how credit is counted towards the participant’s degree program.

Attendance

Event attendance is required throughout the program. Participants may be excused from a function only with the permission of the Resident Director. Participants who miss any event for medical reasons must inform the Resident Director. Continued absence may lead to a written warning from the Resident Director or dismissal from the program. Participants are not permitted to travel away from the program site while classes are in session.

Withdrawal from a Program

All participants are required to remain at the program location until the final program date, and to complete and turn in all academic work, including examinations and papers, prior to departing the site.

Dismissal from the Program

Participants are expected to comply with regulations established by their home universities and the host institution. Resident staff may establish additional requirements that are essential to the participants’ achievement of their educational goals or to continuing good relations with the Host University or community.

Freedom University may dismiss from the program any participant who does not comply with the relevant regulations and requirements as outlined in the Freedom University Participant Contract. In most cases, the Resident Director issues a warning letter to participants if they are not acting in compliance with program regulations. Participants are expected to take responsibility for changing their behavior or risk early dismissal and consequent loss of time, money, and academic credit. Freedom University does not grant program fee refunds to participants who are dismissed from a Freedom University program.

Program Cancellation

Freedom University reserves the right to cancel a Freedom University Study Abroad program due to insufficient enrollment or other factors beyond its control. All Freedom University programs are based on group arrangements involving a minimum number of participants. In the unlikely event that a program is cancelled prior to the start of the program, due to low enrollment or any other reason, Freedom University will refund all payments received but will have no further liability to participant.

If an emergency requires that a program be canceled following the program start date and prior to the end of an academic term, Freedom University will make reasonable efforts to make alternative arrangements in order to allow participants to complete their academic work, but cannot guarantee that full or partial credit will be obtained. If alternative arrangements cannot be made, Freedom University will make reasonable efforts to collect documentation of participant work completed to date. Freedom University will share this information with the home institutions of participants enrolled in the program so they will be able to evaluate, per home institution policies, whether to grant their participants any, full, or partial credit for work completed.

Academic Integrity

Freedom University subscribes to standard U.S. norms requiring that participants exhibit the highest standards regarding academic honesty. Cheating and plagiarism in any course assignment or exam will not be tolerated and may result in a participant failing the course or being expelled from the program. Standards of honesty and norms governing originality of work differ significantly from country to country. We expect participants to adhere to both the American norms and the local norms.

Exceptions

During the semester, any participant who feels there is a justification to request an exception to any Freedom University policy should address the request in writing to the Resident Director. Individual instructors are not authorized to grant exceptions to academic policies.

PROGRAM FEES AND PAYMENT POLICIES

Program Fees

Comprehensive program fees and breakdowns are available here in downloadable PDF files. Freedom University does not give refunds (or partial refunds) for unused services that are included as part of the advertised program fee. Freedom University program fees are set by the Freedom University North Carolina office. All questions regarding Freedom University program fees must be directed to the Freedom University Billing Team, rather than to staff on-site.

Confirmation of Participation

Freedom University requires a confirmation payment, as part of the program fee, from each participant intending to participate on a Freedom University Study Abroad program. This confirmation payment is not an additional fee but is part of the published program fee and is paid at the time the “Freedom University Participant Contract” and “Confirmation Fee” tasks are completed during the on-line application process. In lieu of paying the confirmation fee at the time the Participant Contract task is completed, a participant may elect to be billed for the confirmation fee with the rest of his or her program fees. In some cases, institutions have made arrangements to confirm participation for the participant. Forms and detailed information are included in the acceptance materials, as appropriate to the agreement with the participant’s home institution. Once the Participant Contract task is completed, the participant is considered confirmed, regardless of whether the Confirmation Fee task is completed, and the participant is held responsible for the Confirmation Fee and any other relevant program fees as outlined in these Terms and Conditions.

Payment of Freedom University Program Fees

Participants are billed after acceptance to a Freedom University program, typically within one to two months before the start of the program. Once the participant has completed the Participant Contract task in the on-line application process, the Freedom University Withdrawal or Deferral Refund Policy (outlined below) applies. Freedom University has agreements with many institutions regarding billing procedures for their participants. In some cases, institutions ask Freedom University to bill participants directly and, in others, Freedom University bills the institution or sends a statement of relevant participant(s) fees to the institution to be billed to the participant(s) via the home school’s billing system. In either case, the participant is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the full program fee is paid. In the absence of an existing arrangement with a school or where the participant does not have a home institution, Freedom University bills the participant directly.

Participants Billed Directly by Freedom University

Billing statements are made available to the participant via their Freedom University online account. Freedom University billing staff will notify participants via email when their initial billing statement is available. Participants billed directly by Freedom University are responsible for maintaining their own accounts. If a parent or other designee will be managing payment of fees on behalf of the participant, it is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that all statements and other billing information are forwarded appropriately. Program fee payments are due in full 30 days from the production/mailing date of the bill, unless the participant secures an approved payment plan. Individual participant payments are accepted via personal check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to Freedom University and sent with a copy of the billing statement to Freedom University, PO Box 10503, Albany, NY 12201. Payments may also be made via Visa/MasterCard credit or debit card (using the credit card payment information form, located on the back of the billing statement), which may be faxed to 1-207-221-1456 (secure, dedicated fax line). No processing fees will be assessed by Freedom University for payments made via credit/debit card. Credit/Debit card payments are only accepted via the required payment information form, complete with the card holder’s signature; no payments are accepted electronically or via phone.

Any Freedom University program fees billed directly to the participant and not paid in full, in accordance with the dates and timelines found in Freedom University’s terms and conditions, may be sent to an outside collections agency for further collections efforts. Any and all fees charged to Freedom University relating to the collection of a participant’s outstanding balance will be added to the participant’s Freedom University account balance and will be the responsibility of the participant to pay in full.

Due Dates, Late Fees, and Interest

Program fees are billed by term (summer, fall, winter short term, and spring). Participants participating in an academic year or calendar year program or in programs for two or more consecutive terms, receive a bill for each term. Program fee payments for each term must be paid by the due date listed on the statement for each term. Participants participating in an academic year program will be billed for the full advertised fall term fee prior to departure in the fall and for the difference between the full fall fee and the published academic year program fee prior to the advertised start of the spring term. Participants participating in a calendar year program will be billed for the full spring term fee prior to departure in the spring and for the difference between the full spring fee and the published calendar year program fee prior to the advertised start of the fall term.

For fall, academic year, calendar year, or spring terms, qualified participants may request a deferred payment due date using the following forms. Please note that except for financial aid deferral, deferred payment due dates are not allowed for summer programs or winter short term programs.

Exclusion from Participation

Any participant who fails either to pay in full by the stated due date on the statement, or by the payment dates as indicated in the payment deferral/payment plan schedule, may be subject to exclusion from participation at the discretion of Freedom University. Notification of exclusion for non-payment may be delivered at any time prior to and/or during the program, but participants will receive at least one late payment notification via email before any action to exclude is taken.

Late Fees and Interest

Any participant who fails to pay in full or to submit an appropriate payment deferral/payment plan request by the due date on the statement, will be charged a $200 late fee and is required to immediately submit payment for all remaining fees in full.

Any participant approved to participate on a Standard Payment Plan who misses the 75% or the 100% deadline, will be charged a $100 late fee for each missed deadline.

Any participant on a Financial Aid Deferral plan whose payment is not received at Freedom University by the approved deferral deadline, as outlined in the deferral schedule on the revised statement after the proposed Financial Aid Deferral form has been submitted to Freedom University, will be charged a $200 late fee.

Site Debts

Any unpaid debts at the end of a semester that were incurred by, or on behalf of, a program participant will be billed to that participant in U.S. Dollars by the Freedom University North Carolina office, and the participant’s grades will be held until the Site Debt is paid in full.

Participants risk having their accounts sent to Collections for non-payment. Returned checks and declined credit card payments are considered as failure to make the payment.

Fees Billed by Freedom University to Institutions

In the case of fees billed by Freedom University to institutions, the institution should provide the name, full address, and other contact information of the person responsible for settling the account. The policies below will be followed unless an alternative agreement has been signed by Freedom University and by the institutional representative.

All program fees, as outlined on the Freedom University billing statement sent to the institution, must be paid in full 30 days from the date of statement, unless alternate payment due dates are outlined in the organizational billing agreement between Freedom University and the billed institution.

Freedom University program fees that are billed to universities are typically sent via email in May, June, and December.

Institutional payments are accepted via check made payable to Freedom University and sent with a copy of the billing statement to Freedom University, North Carolina or via ACH or bank wire transfer (ACH and wire transfer payment information is included on the statement information page that accompanies the institutional bill). Institutional payments via credit card will be accepted only through our secure web storefront.

The billed institution, as opposed to the individual program participant, is held responsible for payment of program fees for confirmed participants, as indicated on the bill from Freedom University. It is the institution’s responsibility to pay Freedom University in full for the balance due as noted on the statement each semester, regardless of whether the participant has paid the institution in full or has any outstanding balance with the institution. Institutions who agree to accept bills from Freedom University on behalf of their participants, also agree to be responsible for cancellation fees for their confirmed participants, as outlined in the institutional billing agreement and per the Withdrawal or Deferral Refund Policies below.

Any institution not in good standing will be notified of the deficiency by Freedom University. If deficiencies persist, Freedom University reserves the right to terminate the billing arrangement with the institution. If the institution carries any balance more than one calendar year beyond the original statement payment due date, the institution will be informed that they have no more than 90 days to pay the balance in full or make acceptable payment arrangements with Freedom University. Failure to do so will result in the termination of the institutional billing arrangement.

Returned checks will be considered as failure to make the payment.

Withdrawal or Deferral Refund Policy

Please note that in all circumstances the application fee and the Participation Confirmation payment are non-refundable. If a participant applied to study through a School of Record, the School of Record fee is non-refundable once the participant has confirmed his/her place in the program.

Winter Short Term and Summer Programs

Withdrawal on or after the advertised program arrival date: If written notification of withdrawal for a confirmed participant is received by Freedom University on or after the advertised program arrival date for any given term, or if a confirmed participant does not notify Freedom University in writing of plans to withdraw and does not show up on-site on the advertised arrival date for the first session of the participant’s confirmed participation record, the following refund policy for partial attendance applies.

Withdrawal on or after the advertised program arrival date: If written notification of withdrawal for a confirmed participant is received by Freedom University on or after the advertised program arrival date for any given term, or if a confirmed participant does not notify Freedom University in writing of plans to withdraw and does not show up on-site on the advertised arrival date for the first session of the participant’s confirmed participation record, the following refund policy for partial attendance applies.

The application fee, Participation Confirmation payment, and applicable School of Record fees are non-refundable. Program fee refunds are calculated per the following:

  • Withdrawal 2 weeks prior to Day 1 of the advertised program session arrival date: 0% refund plus additional 25% withdrawal fee for any subsequent sessions confirmed for participation will also be due.
  • Withdrawal from 6 weeks through 2 weeks prior of the advertised program session start: 50% refund of the program fees will be granted.
  • Withdrawal up to 6 weeks prior of the advertised program session start: 75% refund of the program fees will be granted.

In cases where payment has not yet been received by Freedom University, payment of the Participation Confirmation fee, applicable School of Record fees, and any unpaid balance after the withdrawal policy is enforced will be due.

Program Cancellation

Please refer to the General Policies section for Program Cancellation terms and conditions.

Severability of Contract Provisions

(a) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties or prohibited by law, each of the provisions of a contract is severable and distinct from the others.

(b) If at any time during the existence of the contract one of its provisions, which is severable and distinct from the others pursuant to Subsection (a), is determined to be or to have become invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions of the contract shall not in any way be affected or impaired.

(c) The parties shall negotiate in good faith to replace such invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision with a valid, legal and enforceable provision the economic effect of which comes as close as possible to that of the invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision.

See: http://www.trans-lex.org/938750

Important Notes:

  1. In the case of a refund, the refund is typically sent to the billed party except in some circumstances involving financial aid–if Freedom University bills the institution, the refund is sent to the institution; if Freedom University bills the participant, the refund is sent to the participant at the permanent address listed on the initial application, unless the participant notifies Freedom University otherwise. A refund of payment made by credit card will be processed as a credit back to that card account, when possible, rather than sent via refund check. Please note that refunds of less than $1 will not be processed. Similarly, Freedom University will not bill participants with account balances less than $1. Refunds are processed within two months after the end of the term of study. Participants requiring refunds more quickly may contact Freedom University to request expedited processing.
  2. Cancellations and deferrals are effective only upon the date written notification from the participant is received by Freedom University. Participants must also notify their home institution directly if they plan to cancel, withdraw, or defer. Questions regarding home institution policies should be directed to the home institution, not to Freedom University. Home institution payment policies are separate from Freedom University’s payment policies, and participants will be held to both sets of policies.
  3. The $30 application fee and Participation Confirmation payment, School of Record fees (when applicable) are non-refundable.
  4. The “arrival date” is the Freedom University posted arrival date, as listed on the Freedom University website, which typically coincides with the first day of orientation for each term. Withdrawal fee policies outlined for participants studying for an academic year, calendar year, or on two consecutive terms of any sort are held to the Freedom University posted arrival date for each term or session, as listed on the Freedom University website, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions listed above rather than the host university or Freedom University class start dates.
  5. Participants who receive scholarship aid from Freedom University and subsequently withdraw must repay Freedom University the scholarship aid received. If the amount of the scholarship aid is less than the amount of any refund due, the scholarship aid is deducted from the refund. If the amount of the scholarship aid is greater than any refund due, the participant must repay Freedom University the difference.
  6. Payment deferral, based on financial aid disbursements after the program starting date, cannot be granted past the following dates: October 15 for the fall semester; March 15 for the spring semester; and July 1 for summer programs.
  7. Freedom University withholds final grades when participants have outstanding financial obligations to Freedom University or the program site.

Contact Freedom University

All questions regarding participant financial accounts should be directed to the Freedom University Billing Coordinator, Institution & Participant Services, at info-AT-freedomghana-DOT-org.

Freedom University reserves the right to modify or cancel any statement in the program descriptions and information as listed at www.freedomghana.org, or in the hard copy program catalogs, without prior notice and accepts no responsibility for the consequences of such changes.