Considerations for RYS Refund Policies

Last Modified: April 26, 2017

The checklist below offers suggested considerations for developing a school's refund and cancellation policies. Yoga Alliance® Registry (YAR) has issued these suggestions to encourage fair and transparent policies about payment practices at Registered Yoga Schools (RYS®s). These suggestions are informed by regulatory requirements in some states relating to consumer protection or licensure of occupational schools. It is the obligation of each school to determine whether its policies comply with the legal requirements in the jurisdiction in which the school operates.

It is important and highly recommended, though not a YAR Requirement, that you have a school refund policy clearly presented in writing to your prospective trainees. 

In general, policies spelled out in a clear and specific manner can prevent misunderstandings between trainees and the RYS to which they are applying. The school’s policies should be included in a contract so the trainee is clear about the agreements they are making with the school. This will minimize or prevent incidents that result in animosity and possible litigation because policies were not clearly spelled out and agreed to in writing. It is also recommended to specify the amount that will be refunded should the trainee withdraw before or after the training begins.

When creating a Refund Policy for your RYS, consider the following scenarios for a full or partial refund:

  • The trainee is not accepted into the teacher training but has paid a deposit and/or application fee. YAR encourages every RYS either to refund deposits or to set non-refundable deposits or applications at a small proportion of the total program fee and to ensure that the non-refundable portion of the fee correlates to the RYS’s costs in processing the application and/or in losing the opportunity to accept another trainee into the program.

  • The school cancels a training at any time for any reason or changes the training or training dates as it was advertised. YAR encourages every RYS to allow for full refunds if the RYS does not offer a training at the dates and times for which the trainee applied, both for fairness and to avoid breach of contract claims.

  • The trainee cancels with enough notice (time to be determined by the school and clearly stated in their policies). YAR encourages full or partial refunds for cancellations with enough prior notice that the RYS has not incurred non-recoverable expenses.

  • The trainee is asked to leave the teacher training by the RYS for reasons enumerated in the trainee application process. YAR encourages every RYS to provide a proportionate refund for any class sessions not yet taken by the affected trainee.

  • The trainee leaves by mutual agreement with the RYS. YAR encourages every RYS to provide a proportionate refund for any class sessions not yet taken by the affected trainee.

  • Other: Acts of God, trainee fails to complete the course for medical reasons.

NOTE: When considering these suggestions, please be sure to verify that you are complying with any local, state or federal requirements. You may wish to consult with your legal service provider as well.

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