U task force evaluates 2005 tuition payment procedures

A U tuition task force met Nov. 17 to discuss how efficient tuition payment was for Fall Semester 2005 and whether any improvements could be made.

The task force, which has come together every semester for the past two years, met primarily to discuss the long lines encountered on the last day of the tuition deadline at the Registrar’s Office.

Steffany Forest of Income Accounting said the causes of the long lines were the large number of tuition deferral applications processed, computer slow downs and having the due date the day after Labor Day.

“Because of financial aid filing date changes, many students had to fill out (a Deferral of Tuition application) at the last minute,” she said.

Kay Harward, associate vice president of enrollment management, said changes in tuition policy were made Fall Semester for students who applied for financial aid and were unable to receive it in time to pay for tuition.

“We narrowed the application deadline from 120 to 30 days before the tuition deadline,” he said. “This made more people need money, immediately increasing the lines at the Registrar’s Office.”

Forest said that the problem would likely be solved by next semester with DOT forms expected to be available online, decreasing any congestion DOT applicants may cause in line.

Forest also said in her report that compared with previous years, there were large amounts of short-term loans processed the day tuition was due. The task force expects that short-term loans should be available online by next fall.

Also on the agenda of the task force was a discussion on problems encountered with the four-day “window” between the last day to drop classes and the tuition due date.

According to tuition policy, students dropping classes during this window are not charged for tuition but are given a W on their record.

Harward said that some students were receiving a W on their record while others were not, creating a vexing dilemma for students and the task force.

Ralph Boren, with the Registrar’s Office, said the problem arose when students either fully or partially withdrew from classes and when students dropped while not paying tuition at all.

“It is a question of fairness,” Boren said. “Should these students always receive a W on their record?”

The task force suggested closing the window by either moving the tuition date back or by moving the drop day forward to coincide at the same time. However, nothing was finalized as no official proposals were made.

Harward said the issues would be addressed at the next task force meeting in the spring. Depending on the solution presented, the task force may have to go through the Academic Senate for approval.

“Whatever the solution is, it will benefit the student,” he said. “It will be more fair and more balanced in handing out W’s.”

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