Pay up! Students will be dropped from classes after Sept. 10 tuition deadline

Freshman Shanti Tialino is trying to get her finances together to make the Sept. 10 tuition deadline to avoid having her classes dropped, and she’s worried she won’t make it.

“College is this great place that’s a lot of fun and a place where you learn a lot, but the finances are really discouraging me,” she said.

She said she thinks the tuition deadline is too early.

“It would be so much better if tuition were due the third week of September so I had more time to gather my money,” she said.

But not all students think the deadline is too early. For senior Dagny Gold, who pays 75 percent of her tuition with scholarships, the deadline is too late.

“I wish they would drop students first and then let other students add classes to take up those spots,” Gold said.

The U’s tuition policy, which took effect for undergraduates Fall Semester of 2003 and which includes graduate students this year, may seem harsh, but some students say it’s fair.

Anna Dekins, a freshman, also agrees with the policy.

“This is college, we should be able to pay our tuition on time,” she said. She pays for school using student loans, which is given directly from her student-loan provider to the school.

Making sure that student aid goes through on time is one of the concerns on the mind of Paul Brinkman, associate vice president for budget and planning.

“I do worry about student aid. Some of our students have a difficult time getting things together. There are miscommunications between students and parents, etc. But overall, this has been an effective policy,” he said.

In the past, the U would have to go after students who didn’t pay tuition, which became “a very messy” process, Brinkman said.

The Utah Board of Regents also mandated that the U ensures that all students it counts are actually enrolled and have paid tuition.

“We actually fudged the numbers in the past a little bit, and the Regents weren’t happy with that,” he said.

While Brinkman said the administration is happy overall with the policy, he foresees changes.

“It would be an advantage to move up the deadline so students can add classes after students are dropped,” he said.

Last year, between 200 and 300 students were dropped.

“I don’t know how many people expected to be dropped because they decided not to attend the U, and to how many it was a surprise,” Brinkman said.

But with about 300 students out of 28,000 undergraduates failing to pay tuition on time, not many seats would be open.

“It’s not a lot of slots, but at least they would be open,” Brinkman said.

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