Amanda Hollman, assistant opinions editor, @HollmanAmanda
The beginning of each semester brings what each student dreads: tuition payments. UVU’s payment deadline, including the day that classes will be dropped for nonpayment, is set before financial aid even arrives at the school. What impact does that early deadline have on the students?
When it comes to paying for school, students have a few options. There are scholarships to be found, grants to be discovered, taking time to earn the money to pay each semester off, student loans, and more. Those that pay their own way along usually take time off to save the money or they set up a payment plan to complete their debt in smaller chunks rather than in a bulk sum. In order to do that, upfront they have to pay a $25 set up fee and 10% of their tuition. To help you with the math, that adds up to just shy of $300 if you are a Utah resident.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics website, about 65% of students receive any kind, or a combination, of financial aid. The national average is not far off of the UVU figure. Collegeprowler.com places about 75% of UVU students receiving some kind of financial aid to support their schooling. That’s a lot of students that need help paying for their education.
In the 2011-2012 school year, the tuition deadline was just over 2 weeks after classes started. The following year, tuition went up $101 for in state residents and $289 for out of state residents. In addition, the payment deadline was moved to 19 days prior to school starting, which was just two days before the school received the financial aid funds. This year, the deadline was 12 days before classes began, and still two days before the school got the aid funds, but tuition went up another $150 for in state residents and $369 for out of state residents.
Let’s recap: since 2011, tuition has gone up $251 for in state residents and $658 for out of state residents. That makes sense; the economy is ever changing and we must make adjustments accordingly. Also since 2011, students must now pay their tuition just two days before the university receives the financial aid that 75% of the school’s population is getting.
Having the tuition deadline be before classes commence makes sense; the school needs to be able to pay their teachers for those first few weeks of classes. What doesn’t make sense to me is that the deadline has been made to be just two days before financial aid funds come to the school. Since the cut-off date is the way it is, those 75% of students that receive aid either have to set up a payment plan, dishing out almost $300, just so that they do not get all of their classes dropped with additional fees to be able to register again-and for no guarantee to get their original classes back.
I have tried talking with the financial aid department, one stop, and the cashiers but all have said that if you do not have funds to pay all of the tuition by the deadline, then you need to set up a payment plan. What if one of those 75% does not have the money to set up a payment plan? It seems as though the school says, “too bad. It’s not our problem. Figure it out.” I don’t know about you, but that is just not cool.
It’s time that us students, who are the ones paying for our education-without whom this establishment wouldn’t run, take a stand and find a way to make the deadline fair for us while getting the school what they need.
Have an opinion on this topic? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll run it in a future issue.
Amanda is a senior studying journalism with a minor in digital media. She loves writing lifestyle and enjoys being a part of the UVU Review staff to be able to prepare for when she graduates in 2015. Follow her on Twitter @HollmanAmanda.