I signed up for an online class last October, and it's self-paced, meaning you can submit the assignments whenever you want. The only requirement was to finish the class and take the final within 1 year of signing up for it.
I admit, I got started on it very late- midway through this summer. But the class itself only had 6 assignments, a midterm, and a final. I submitted 2 assignments a week and had all that done within a month, took the online midterm, and waited. It was around mid-August at this point.
..and waited. All through August and half of September.
I kept emailing the professor in charge and got no response for 4 weeks until I finally heard back from her. Her email basically said, "oops, went on a month-long vacation, forgot to tell all the students in this course."
Okay, kinda crappy (especially if your year was up in that time!), but I still had 2 months left so I wasn't too worried. She slowly sent me back my graded assignments and I figured everything was back on track. As long as I had actually submitted everything to her, even if it wasn't yet graded, I could take the final. Yay! I get that over with at the start of October, a whopping 20 days before my deadline. I'm a terrible procrastinator, I know. :(
Well, it's now November and it's been around 4.5 weeks since I took the final. Surely it had been graded by now, right? I log onto the college site again and go through my transcript and see no grade. Then I go to the finance page and see I owe the school around $360. Uh-oh.
I call the office and find out that's the "extension fee" that's charged to me for not finishing the class within a year. "But wait," I tell them, "I submitted everything and took the final nearly a month before the deadline!"
They run around in circles for a bit looking at my paperwork and finally figure out that they haven't received any of my grades from the professor. But it's still somehow my fault and unless I get it straightened out I'll owe them the money or take a failing grade on the transcript.
When I email the professor again, she basically says, "oh yeah, I got most of your assignments and your midterm and your final but I've been really busy. And two of your assignments are missing, which is kinda strange."
I have no idea why she never contacted me to ask why I submitted everything but two assignments, considering the fact that I shouldn't even be able to take the final unless they can confirm I already sent everything else in. I still have all my emails in my sent box and I notice that the two assignments she thinks are missing are in emails that have 2 attachments each. Perhaps she only ever notices the first attachment? Either way, I forward them to her, so that I at least have proof of the original sending date and they can't claim that I am submitting these things 3 weeks too late.
My question is, do they have any grounds to still hit me with the extension fee? Or does this all fall on the professor, who left for a month without prior notice, was extremely slow in grading assignments (the online course website guarantees grades within 2 weeks of submission), and who can't open attachments to see that I have actually submitted everything?
Who would I even appeal to if they argued it was somehow my fault?
TL;DR: Disorganized professor screws me over with online course deadlines; I get slammed with a $360 extension fee despite finishing the course on time.