Big changes come to billing

 Uncategorized
Aug 022011
 
Authors: Jason Pohl

Students now have more options for paying bills during their time at CSU, thanks to a new plan for the upcoming school year that will provide greater flexibility in an easier to understand statement.

“We really wanted to take a look at the possible solutions,” said Lynn Johnson, associate vice president for finance at CSU. “We wanted e-billing to be understandable.”

Under the new plan, students are encouraged to have their bill paid in full by the September due date to avoid any additional charges. If a bill is not paid in full by that time, a 1.5 percent deferral fee will be assessed to the outstanding balance.

No additional penalties will accrue and no special arrangements must be made with the university.

“Student now will know their amount-due earlier,” Johnson said, allowing for more time to plan accordingly. “It’s a really nice thing we can do for our students.”

Two years ago, bills were dispersed in July and one-third was due in August. However, students would drop classes, add meal plans and accrue additional costs to their bill in the time after billing.

Additionally, financial aid, including scholarships, was not yet applied, resulting in an inaccurate and “fairly convoluted” statement, according to Johnson.

The university decided to implement e-billing after looking into the systems in place among other universities. This more accurate bill was due in September all at once and solved many of the previous problems. But students sometimes could not afford everything in one payment and would often get hit with late fees.

“Flexibility is what people want,” said Christie Leighton, a Student Financial Services spokesperson. “This is a positive move for CSU students and their families.”

Students can pay their bill online at any time in any amount through RAMweb rather than going to the cashier’s office on campus. Those who do not have their bill paid in full will be precluded from registering for classes for the next semester.

The changes were made in partnership with the Associated Students of Colorado State University, as well as Student Financial Services and Business and Financial Services.

“Many students rely on month-to-month paychecks in order to pay their bills,” said ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg. “The new payment system is one way to help aid those students during a struggling financial time such as today.”

Staff writer Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com

The Payments

  • Fiscal 2010: Payments due included one-third of total bill, due in August and additional payments during the semester.
  • Fiscal 2011: Payments due included all charges and factored in financial aid. Everything due in September to avoid fees.
  • Now, Fiscal 2012: Payment due Sept. 12, but can be deferred at 1.5 percent charge throughout the semester.
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