A Student from Peterborough

A student from Peterborough wrote:

Thank you so much for writing this! As a Second Career student I’m torn about what to do with my tuition. It’s taxpayers money I’m spending and I am feeling that if I pay it I can make a legitimate argument that the college administration is stealing from the citizens of Ontario.

“Stealing” might be a bit extreme — it’s only theft if they don’t provide the service (your education) in return.  Think of it this way: When you want a house built, you probably don’t hire a bricklayer and a plumber and an electrician and a carpenter all on your own — you hire (and pay) a contractor, and you leave it to her to hire everybody needed to get the job done.  Think of the colleges as your contractor — you’ve given her the money; she’s responsible for hiring the people to do the work for you.  The problem is this: Your contractor hasn’t actually contracted these people to do the work.  She’s just paying them at the end of each day, and they have the right to walk off the job at any time.

So if the builders do walk off, whom do you blame?  Them?  Or the contractor?  (And at what point can you validly accuse the contractor of fraud?)

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