Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I got a letter which says

Your admission is on the basis that you will be classified as a Home (EU) student for the purpose of University fees and College fees will be paid on your behalf by the University at the publicly funded undergraduate rate.

Does the meaning change if you just split it up into

Your admission is on the basis that you will be classified as a Home (EU) student for the purpose of University fees. College fees will be paid on your behalf by the University at the publicly funded undergraduate rate.

Or is there another meaning to it that I don't get?

share|improve this question
1  
The sentence does seem hard to parse without extra punctuation. Assuming you've put the break in the right place, a semi-colon could work, too. –  J.R. Jun 7 '12 at 20:50
6  
Wow...I hope the letter writer is not a graduate of your university. –  JLG Jun 7 '12 at 21:55
    
This is confusing. It leads me to think that university fees are somehow different from college fees, whereas to me the two are the same. –  deutschZuid Jun 7 '12 at 22:33
    
Thanks for your answers. Indeed, the College fees are different from University fees. I know that I don't have to pay any College fees which is why "at the publicly funded undergraduate rate" seems a bit weird to me. –  Damocles Jun 8 '12 at 7:01
    
Damocles: I think you do have to pay college fees (otherwise the college couldn't run), but the University covers them for you (unless the system's changed radically). –  TimLymington Jun 15 '12 at 17:25

4 Answers 4

Actually, it may have a different meaning to your (clearer) rewording. It may mean that "your admission is on two conditions; one, that you qualify as a Home student and two, that the University will pay college fees on your behalf, at the publicly funded rate". Presumably it is possible that you could be a Home student but not publicly funded, in which case the College would not be guaranteed that its fees would be paid, and so your place might be in jeopardy. I can't say that that is the meaning, but it is possible, and seems the sort of jargon that petty officials 'have to put in to cover themselves'.

Edit: the paragraph as written is plainly wrong in some way: I suggest the word 'that' should be inserted before College.

share|improve this answer

The first example which is all one sentence, implies that your admission will only be granted on two conditions, that you're a home student, and having your fees paid by the University at the publicly funded graduate rate.

The second example, factually states that the University will pay your college fees, as long as you're a home student - hence you will get a free education you won't have to pay for as long as you live in Europe.

I doubt this was the impression that the University wanted to give, and in no way was the University intending to say that they were planning on paying your course/study fees, so the answer is to your question is yes.

You splitting the sentence in half did change the meaning.

share|improve this answer
    
You're right. For such a prim and proper University, they should learn to make use of commas. I'm editing my answers now. –  desbest Jun 18 '12 at 14:47

The meaning doesn't change after the split, even though the split sentences (with a semicolon or a period) are easier to read. It is clear from the second clause that you don't have to pay the "college fee", because it is paid by the University, and they pay that fee at a certain rate. Since you don't pay that fee, what kind of rate they pay the fee at does not concern you. It's just mentioned for your information.

share|improve this answer

I think this is a typical example of a person with high education trying to make the text as complicated as possible.

To answer your question: NO, the two variants have the same meaning. The second is somewhat better to read.

The edits I'd suggest to make the text understandable follow:

You will be classified as a Home (EU) student for the purpose of University fees.

I think the Your admission is on the basis part is unnecessary because you know you've been admitted and this wasn't a condition.

The University will pay the College fees on your behalf at the publicly funded undergraduate rate.

Did I get this one right? I hope so.

Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.