Apr 102003
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

For tuition and fees, there is not MasterCard at CSU.

The university has decided to discontinue the acceptance of Visa and MasterCard credit cards for payment of tuition, as of July 1.

Visa and MasterCard credit cards will no longer be accepted to pay for tuition, fees, residence hall room/board, special meal plan purchases, apartment rent, study abroad and commercial charges, according to a CSU press release. Also excluded are incidental charges, such as Hartshorn Health Center and Veterinary Hospital charges, and penalty charges, library fines and late registration charges.

Students who use Discover credit cards will not be affected.

Tom Milligan, CSU’s public relations director, said the reason behind the decision is because of the high cost to the university in processing fees, approximately $600,000 a year.

“(The policy) is a direct impact of the budget crisis of the institution,” Milligan said. “As a university, we tried to offer an easy and convenient way for students to pay but in light of these historic budget cuts, there is no way to offer this.”

Thirty percent of the payments taken by the Cashier’s Office were made using Visa and MasterCard for spring semester 2003. The percentage does not include tuition and fees covered by financial aid. The average ticket for a transaction is $1,115, said Jennifer Dimas, a University Relations spokesperson.

“(The use of credit cards) is a good option for people who don’t have the money to pay for tuition,” said Natalie Van Duyne, a junior psychology major.

Duyne has in the past paid for her tuition using a credit card.

Brad Martin, a junior studying psychology, felt this policy along with tuition increase is making it difficult for students to pay for college.

“It’s making it harder and harder for students to get loans. Credit cards are an easy way to get loans,” Martin said.

The university has been accepting credit cards for approximately 30 years and currently there is no timeline to reestablish the policy.

“With double-digit cuts, everything possible has to focus on quality, it was a decision we had to make,” Milligan said. “We have to focus on quality, that has to be the driving force out of all of this.”

Students will still be able to use their credit cards for payment of items purchased from a department, such as the bookstore or athletic ticket office. Credit cards will continue to be accepted by university Web sites to pay for admissions, preview orientation and the Division of Educational Outreach.

Students will not be able to use Visa or MasterCard to pay for:

* Tuition

* Fees

* Residence hall room/board

* Special meal plan purchases

* Apartment rent

* Study abroad charges

* Commercial charges

* Penalty charges:

o Library fines

o Late registration fees

o Late payment penalties

o Charges for lost or damaged equipment

* Incidental charges:

o Health center charges

o Recreations sport charges

o Software purchases

o Veterinary Hospital customer charges

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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