New payment process a pain
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 08:06
Starting in August, students planning to pay for tuition with credit cards will incur an additional 2 percent fee instead of the $10 flat rate that previously accompanied credit payments. This averages out to an extra $50 to $70 on top of a tuition payment for a 12-credit-hour-semester. Although the decision is undoubtedly an effort to cover the growing costs of doing business, the fact that students will not be refunded in the event that the processing cost is less than the fee itself is troubling. The timing of this increase is also unfavorable for UCF, as it directly follows the 15 percent tuition hike that could go into effect in August, an already hefty burden on students’ wallets.
If UCF truly will be breaking even on these transactions, this is understandable, albeit frustrating. However, profit should not be made. If the university ends up making money off the percentage increase, it is a disservice to students who are already struggling to cover tuition costs. Dan Mayo, associate controller for UCF Student Accounts, has stated that the university would reassess the percentage to guarantee this will not be the case, but that remains to be seen.
The limitation of credit as a payment also seems to be more trouble than it will be worth. A credit transaction is immediate and fairly simple. There is no potential hassle over bounced checks, no outstanding bills that lead to students potentially losing their classes, etc. While these situations may not be prevalent, it is still paperwork, time and money that are essentially wasted because of this extra cost.
Ultimately, by increasing fees and not accepting Visa cards for payment, the university is backing students into a corner.There are few other convenient options left for payment. It is unrealistic to think that a check or money order is a feasible option for most students. In today’s society, plastic is a necessary evil and students, or their parents, pay for tuition by credit card precisely because they can pay it off little by little and because, in many cases, they don’t have $2,000 sitting in a bank account just to pay for tuition. Cardholders are already going to be charged interest on their end for the transaction; the additional fee is simply adding insult to injury.
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