Students find surprise in their tuition bills

With the Fall tuition bill came a charge many students at the College didn’t expect, or even notice.

The College automatically bills each sophomore and upperclassman for a $230 resident parking permit. To take this charge off the billing statement, students have to visit the link in an e-mail regarding parking or go directly to the College’s Web site to fill out a waiver. The waiver was available on the Web site until Sept. 5.

Several students felt that the subject title of the e-mail, “Parking Decal Fulfillment Instructions,” was misleading. The content of the e-mail included parking decal fulfillment instructions for students with cars on campus, as well as steps to waive the permit charge.

Many students said they thought that only students with cars on campus would need to pay attention to the e-mail.

“The way you word things affects it a lot,” Davis Verde, sophomore accounting major, said about the e-mail’s subject title. “It would trick a lot of students into not signing the waiver. If you don’t have a car on campus, you don’t read the e-mail. It doesn’t catch your eye.”

“It’s not right,” Deborah Sadanand, sophomore nursing major, said. “It’s like the fine print on commercials.”

According to Dionne Hallback, associate director of Student Accounts, 641 students declined resident parking permits this year. This was a huge increase compared to the estimated 300 students who declined permits last year.

Hallback said she can see how it could be confusing, but pointed out that announcements were made on the College’s Web site in addition to the e-mail sent out to students.

According to Hallback, a lot of students said they did not read the e-mail.

Several students called in before the semester started and declined the parking permit, Hallback added.

“I think the information is out there,” Hallback said. “It’s a matter of being proactive.”

Many students said they thought automatically charging for permits makes it easier for billing, but the procedure should be made clearer to the student body.

“It’s easier,” Alyssa Conn, sophomore pre-communication studies major, said. “The minority of people don’t have cars on campus.”

There are more students on campus who have cars than students who do not, Hallback said.

“It’s easier for people to tell them they don’t have a car,” Kevin Churco, senior marketing major, said.

Students can check to see if they are paying for a resident parking permit by checking their bill on TESS. If a student is being charged and does not have a car on campus, they can go to the office of Student Accounts in Green Hall 119 to get the charge waived.