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LETTER: Be warned about Southeast Tech housing policy

To the Editor: This information is for anyone planning on attending Southeastern Technical Institute (STI) in Sioux Falls. If they are considering using their dormitories, future students and their families need to be aware of a practice they hav...

To the Editor:

This information is for anyone planning on attending Southeastern Technical Institute (STI) in Sioux Falls. If they are considering using their dormitories, future students and their families need to be aware of a practice they have.

They have students that withdraw during first semester pay the spring semester dormitory fees -- $2,300 -- even though they can't use the dorm.

My son Chris attended STI last fall, decided that it wasn't for him at that time, and went to withdraw in November 2011. Andy VanZanten, the housing director, told him that he wouldn't sign Chris' withdrawal checklist unless he signed a contract to pay dorm fees for the spring. So he signed it under duress because he wanted to withdraw properly. The rest of this policy is that he couldn't live in the dorm this spring because he was no longer a student there, so he has had to pay for a service he could not use.

If this fee isn't paid, STI threatens to send it to a collection agency, which sends it to the credit reporting agencies, which will damage his credit rating for many years. What a fine sendoff from a state run school of higher learning.

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We have appealed through Jeff Holcomb, the president of STI, and Mark Wilson from the Department of Education. Both men stand by this practice as reasonable. There is not any other adult that I have discussed this with that sees this as logical.

STI has done many things well for Chris and they have a fine school, but this practice is not right and should be stopped.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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