By Brittany Bauer
Paying tuition bills is one of the things that Furman students would rather not talk about. However, it is necessary to pay the bill before registering for classes. Unfortunately, some students are in hot water because of a new paperless billing policy.
Last spring, an e-mail was sent to all Furman students announcing that billing would henceforth be paperless and that no more paper copies would be mailed to their home addresses. Students were required to go online and submit up to two parent e-mail addresses, which would then receive the billing statement for the following school year. Small postcards were mailed to the students’ permanent homes in order to follow through with this announcement.
If the student did not submit the e-mail addresses by a certain deadline, then the bill was sent to the student’s Furman e-mail address. Unfortunately, many parents called in this fall to complain that they had not received their student’s tuition bill, as a result of the student’s failure to complete the online registration.
There are specific reasons for conducting this new policy, such as increasing sustainability, saving time, and reducing financial costs by not having to pay a third party to package the bills.
“We wanted to get information to students and parents faster,” said Janie Burton, Furman’s bursar (a financial administrator).
By going paperless, students are now able to receive their bills at least a week earlier. Also, since online billing has become standardized in other areas, the hope is that this new policy should be an easy adaptation for Furman families.
In addition, if a student or parent pays via electronic check, there is no processing fee included.
If a parent still wants to pay by paper, they can print out the online statement and mail that statement in along with the tuition check.
Although there were some small issues in the beginning of the school year, the policy should soon become part of the standard routine for Furman families.
“Besides sustainability, it’s just more convenient,” said Burton. “It went fairly well, and we hope it will go better in the spring.”