Student Financial Services has changed the way students pay their bills by eliminating paper mail statements and modifying online payment procedures.
Julie Treece, associate director of billing and accounts receivable, said paper bills were eliminated to expedite the payment process and eliminate confusion.
“We eliminated the paper bill because there was a lag time in getting the bills from our processor to students homes, which delayed the payments,” Treece said. “If you open your bill online, you are more prone to pay it online, which makes it cleaner and faster.”
Another bill-pay change for 2010-11 requires students to make sure their financial situation is squared away before the first day of school. Treece said all students must pay their balance or set up an extended Wildcat Payment Plan before classes start.
Treece said students were first told of the new policy in a June email, requiring them to set up payment before the school year began.
She also said freshmen and sophomores were not issued keys to their dorm rooms until their accounts were dealt with – a new policy for the 2010-11 school year.
Another major upgrade to the ACU payment system involves the way students view their account balance online. Treece said the new Wildcat Pay program allows students to see up-to-the-minute changes in their account.
“If students want to see current activity on their account, they can go to Wildcat Pay and click on the ‘current activity’ tab,” Treece said. “The paper bill is just a snapshot of what the bill looked like on the day it was sent.”
Treece said the new method of viewing student accounts cuts down on confusion.
“We changed vendors, and the main reason was so we could see the payments more quickly when they are made on the accounts. The new system we are using is a cleaner, more user friendly system,” she said.
The changes have received mixed reviews from students. Eric Dice, freshman criminal justice major from San Diego, said he found the online payment process simple.
“I thought it was pretty easy,” Dice said. “I just went through online and they made it step-by-step which made it simple.”
On the other hand, Jeff Martin, sophomore business management major from Abilene, said the paper bills sent via mail made the payment process easier. He said ACU should at least make the paper bills an option.
“My mom covers all my bills and she doesn’t want to log online,” Martin said.
Mandy Lambright, sophomore undecided major from Carlsbad, N.M., said she would like more face-to-face interaction over bill pay.
“They called me and told me I couldn’t move in until I fixed the issues with my government loans,” Lambright said. “I wanted to talk face-to-face, and all I got were a lot of phone calls and e-mails.”