Bella Mezzacapo photojournalist
In previous semesters, students would be dropped from their courses if they had failed to pay or make payments on their tuition. Now, in the new year, the policy has been changed. Students will no longer be dropped from their courses if they fail to pay their tuition, but late fees will be charged to them.
“So, the old policy was that if students had not paid at least 80% of their tuition and fee bill by about the second week of class, we would go ahead and drop their enrollment and we would not re-enroll those students until they could indicate or provide indication that they could pay,” said Melinda Roelfs, registrar. “The new policy is that we’re no longer dropping students for non-payment. So, we still have a tuition and fee deadline, and we still have late fees, but a consequence of not meeting that deadline will not result in your classes being dropped.”
Although this policy is helpful to some students and does encourage student success, some students feel as though it is unfair to those who pay their tuition on time.
“Until now, I had not heard about this new policy,” Reese Kohr, freshman in nursing, said. “I feel like it’s a good thing because it gives people the opportunity to get their payments turned in but it also kind of sucks for those of us who are making our payments on time. It’s unfair for them to get some sort of special treatment or held to a different standard when they’re doing something that they aren’t supposed to.”
Some may deem this policy change ‘unfair,’ but it was made in the best interest of other students who may be at a disadvantage.
“It was our efforts to kind of renew student success on campus and we felt like the old policy was really creating an obstacle for students,” Roelfs said. “So, in many cases, you know, students are still maybe collecting documents they might need for financial aid, or maybe they’re new to the process and they don’t understand all the steps required for payment. So, this, this new policy gives them that additional time without disrupting their courses.”
So, students still have late fees that should encourage on-time payments. However, some students still see this as an advantage to others, even though late fees will be applied.
“Well, I have not heard of this policy change, and it really doesn’t affect me,” Kacey White, freshman in nursing, said. “I pay my tuition on time and have a monthly plan so that I know how to do so. I think it would be fair for students who most of the time pay their tuition on time then accidentally slip up once to get a second chance, but if they’re just not paying it then no, I don’t think it’s fair. They should be paying on time like the rest of us.”
Overall, the policy is ultimately a positive change, even though some students think otherwise. The new policy increases student success and encourages on-time payments due to the consequence of late fees.
“Certainly, the students who do pay on time would not then receive that additional charge,” Roelfs said. “So, it’s not that we’re not expecting them to pay the money. The tuition fee charges are still on their account. Typically, if a student does miss the deadline, then a hold would be put on their account. For example, if they owe $500 or more, then that would potentially prevent early enrollment for the next semester. So, there’s some, like I said, processes as part of the policy that do encourage on-time payment. We just don’t want to disrupt students’ courses if they’re still working some things out to pay their bill.”