Beginning this summer, Northern Kentucky University will change the tuition payment plan. Students will have the option to pay on their tuition as if it were a credit card.
Students who do not pay their tuition by the due date will automatically be registered in NKU FlexPay. Once enrolled, students will be charged a late fee and have the ability to make payments toward their tuition at any point throughout the semester until it is paid off
A letter from Bursar Operations to students said this plan “offers great flexibility in timing of payments, and the university hopes that it will assist students in reducing some of the stresses placed on them by impending due dates.”
In addition to the late fee, every 30 days the remaining balance will acquire interest, just like a credit card. When registration rolls around for the following semester, a hold will be placed on the account if a student has a balance more than $100. The interest rate and late fee have not yet been set.
Freshman Anna Alex said she would use this new option. “I don’t want to have $10,000 in loans when I am out of here,” she said. “I would rather pay with my money than borrowed money.”
These changes will also affect student enrollment. Students will no longer be dropped from their classes if tuition is not paid. The only ways a student will be removed from a class is for violation of the non-attendance policy or if the student officially withdraws from the class or university. If a student stops attending class, but never withdrew, the student will still owe tuition to the university.
“These changes will move more responsibility to the students,” said Robert Neumann, director of Bursar Operations. Neumann said this will also lead to less stress for the professors. With the current system, students could be in a class for two weeks but then be automatically dropped because they did not pay their bill. This causes the professor to have an inconsistent number of students.
Under the new system there won’t be systematic drops if a student is late paying tuition, an idea some professors like.
“I like the idea that students can’t be forcibly evicted from a class,” said Brad Scharlott, a journalism professor.
Some exceptions to the NKU FlexPay exist. First-time students who borrow money or students who receive Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) money will not be subject to the late fee. “The purpose of this plan is not to generate revenue,” said Neumann. “But we want to cover debt that we may concur.”