Parking fee included in tuition

The Office of Student Accounts included the $179 vehicle registration fee onto all upperclassmen tuition bills in an attempt to create a more efficient system this year.

Many students had problems because they were not aware of the change and were not expecting an extra fee to be added to their bills.

Kathy Ragan, director of Student Financial Services, said that Student Accounts looked at the best practices, business process improvement and cost.

“A number of years ago when we merged the four offices into one, we looked at the financial life of a student and found that over the summer the college sends so many mailings,” Ragan said. “A good portion of them require separate checks, which becomes very confusing to people.”

“We looked at the numbers and saw that about 10 percent of the student body doesn’t buy a parking decal,” Ragan said. “It was less labor and money to get e-mails or messages over the phone to waive the fee for someone declining.”

Ragan believes, for most students, the change went smoothly. But some of the 10 percent of an approximate 6,000-student body population had problems.

“I didn’t notice it at first,” Maria Bolognese, sophomore communication studies major, said. “I’m not even positive if they took it off yet.”

Ragan said the information about car registration was included in a bulletin line as part of the student bill announcement.

According to Ragan, students who paid for an unwanted decal can either have the money added onto Lion’s Club or transferred over to the spring semester’s bill.

Shaheen Mamawala, sophomore communication studies and Spanish major, had trouble with the new process. “I just don’t see why they charged up front to begin with,” Mamawala said.

Student Accounts is upgrading to another software license for next year, which lets students pay their bill separately online with a credit card.