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Dropped online class before starting it, still wanting a payment
So I signed up to take an online class at a community college over the summer. I didn't pay immediately because I did not know if I wanted to take the class for sure. About a week before the class started, I decided that I did not want to take the course. I unfortunately got super busy with work, a funeral, military business, and I never got to dropping the course until a day after the course started. Hours after I dropped the course, I received an email saying that I need to pay a late fee on top of 50% of what the course costs (even though I dropped it and never started it). In addition to that, they said they sent me two warning emails (which they never actually did).
The total cost is over $1000 and the situation does not seem fair (yes, I know life isn't fair). I wasn't even allowed to access the course (because I didn't pay) so I don't see why they are charging me so much in the first place. The college is charging me for something I didn't even take. I said that I would be willing to pay the late fee (because I understand I took way too long to drop the course), but no response yet. Is the college in the right to charge so much money for a course that I didn't even start? It almost makes me want to pay the late fee and ignore the rest. What would happen if I do that? Any advice? Is it worth just paying up..?