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1-4: Student Accounts Receivable

* Issued: 12-1-73
* Revised:  03-14 – Omission error corrected November 12, 2014

I. PURPOSE

To establish responsibilities, policies, and procedures concerning Fort Lewis College student accounts receivable (A/R). Procedures include methods to establish a student accounts receivable, collections, A/R Adjustments, write-offs, and reconciliations.

II. RESPONSIBILITIES

The heads of the following departments have responsibilities for Student Accounts Receivable as follows:

A.      Registrar's Office - Assessment and adjustment of charges for tuition, fees, matriculation fee, special course fees, and late registration fees.

B.      Housing Office - Including but not limited to assessment and adjustment of room charges for the residence halls andcampus apartments, original board charges for residence halls, and excessive cleaning or damage charges..

C.      Office of Admissions and Advising - Assessment and adjustment of charges for application fees, enrollment confirmation fees and classification as an in-state or out-of-state student for tuition purposes at the time of admission.

D.      Controller's Office - Assessment and adjustment of charges for late payment fees, bad checks and returned item penalty assessments.

E.      Financial Aid Office - Assessment and adjustment of financial aid and adjustments for over awards.

F.      Skycard Office - Adjustment of charges for meal plan additions or changes, and replacement of Skycards.

 

III. PROCEDURES

A. Tuition and Fees - The Registrar is responsible for the assessment and adjustment of charges to students for tuition and fees. Based upon the hours and residency, tuition and fees are charged to the student's account, as follows:

FALL AND WINTER TRIMESTERS:

  • For students registering for eleven (11) credit hours or less, there will be a resident or non-resident hourly tuition charge.
  • For students registering for twelve (12) credit hours through eighteen (18) credit hours, tuition will be assessed at a full-time resident or non-resident rate.
  • Students registering for nineteen (19) credit hours or more, will be assessed an additional resident or non-resident hourly surcharge.
  • Student fees are assessed on a per credit hour basis and are capped at eighteen credit hours.
  • A student's tuition and fees will be adjusted according to the net number of credit hours registered for by a predetermined, published census date each term. If a student adds approved credit hours after census date, appropriate charges will be assessed, based upon the net of these added courses. There is no adjustment for credit hours dropped after the census date.

SUMMER SESSIONS:
Students registering for summer session will be assessed tuition per a predetermined resident or non-resident hourly rate. Student fees are assessed on a per credit hour basis and are capped at sixteen credit hours.

B. Withdrawals -
Students who are registered for classes and decide not to attend have the responsibility to cancel classes before the first day of the relevant term. Nonattendance does not constitute cancellation or withdrawal. Students who officially withdraw will be assessed tuition and fees according to the schedule below:

Date of WithdrawalTuition and Fees Assessment
1st day of term through Census10%

Day after Census through the end of Week 4 of the term

60%
Week 5 - 975%
Week 10 forward100% (full tuition and fees)

 

To be eligible to receive the reduction in tuition and fees according to this schedule, the official withdrawal must be completed using WEBOPUS prior to midnight on the Sunday of the week indicated, with the exception of Census date deadlines.

Students withdrawing on or after the first day of the term will be charged the full enrollment (matriculation) fee.  The confirmation fee will not be refunded.

Room and board charges are calculated using the same schedule based on the date of check out from Student Housing for withdrawals after the first day of class. A student must check out of Student Housing within 48 hours of withdrawing from the College. Disciplinary removals from the Student Housing will result in full assessment of room charges and forfeiture of the housing deposit.  Students should refer to their housing contract for cancelation deadlines before the term starts.

Students who receive financial aid and then withdraw may be required to repay all or a portion of aid received. Repayment amounts are determined in accordance with federal, state and institutional regulations and policies. Refunds and repayments for students receiving Title IV financial aid will be calculated using the 'Return of Title IV Fund formula.

Refunds will be sent to the student at their permanent address after the withdrawal process is completed. There is a 30-day hold on payments made with a personal check. Payments made with a debit or credit card will be credited back to the card.

C. Application Fee - An application fee is required from all new students or previous students who have been unenrolled for three or more terms. Applicants who do not include the fee with their application are notified of the unpaid fee in subsequent correspondence. 

D. Enrollment (Matriculation) Fee and Confirmation Fee - The enrollment (matriculation) is assessed to all students when they are admitted or re-admitted to Fort Lewis College.  The confirmation fee is assessed to new freshman and transfer students.

E. Special Course Fee - Special course fees are assessed to those students participating in courses requiring extraordinary supplies, travel, facilities, etc..   The Institutional Plan for student fees addresses the process for approval of course fees.

F. Late Payment Charges - Late payment charges are assessed to those students who fail to pay their financial obligation by a specified payment date each term. Students having made financial arrangements and failing to pay by an agreed upon date are also assessed late payment charges. Charges are assessed by the Accounts Receivable staff.

G. Late Registration Fees - Registration dates are specified for each term. Students registering at a later date without justification or reason, are assessed a late registration fee by the Records Office.

H. Room and Board

1.      Establishing Charges - The Student Housing Office is responsible for the initial assessment of Room and Board charges. See the current published schedule of charges for appropriate rates.

2.      Adjustment of Room and Board charges is done 'self-serve through students' WebOpus accounts, through the Housing Office for Room charges, or through the Skycard Office for Board Charges.

3.      College Policy Concerning Housing Charges - All students assigned to the residence halls will take their meals from campus dining and are billed for room and board accordingly. All students in the campus housing system, both residence halls and apartments, are billed by the term, rather than on a monthly basis. Students moving out of campus housing or failing to fulfill their housing contracts will have their charges adjusted according to published College policy.

4.      Board Only Meal Plans - Enrolled students who are living off campus or housed in the campus apartments are permitted to purchase meal plans. The appropriate charges are entered by the Skycard Office.

I. .Campus Housing Damages - When evidence of damage exists, the Housing Office personnel will determine the amount of damage from Physical Plant records and the charges will be entered to the student's account and billed by Accounts Receivable staff. If the damages remain unpaid at the time the Housing Office refunds the student's security deposit, the Accounts Receivable Office will deduct the damage from the refund

J. Financial Aid Overawards - An overaward occurs when the Financial Aid Office determines that a grant or scholarship has been erroneously disbursed to a student either partially or in total. Federal and State regulations governing financial aid require that the aid accounts be reimbursed when an error is discovered. The Financial Aid Office will reverse funds from the student's account that are to be returned and the student will be billed for the overpayment.  The Financial Aid Office notifies the student of the amount due and the reason for the action. The collection process begins at this point.

L. Bad Checks and Returned Item Assessments - Bad checks are returned to the College by our depository bank. The checks are reviewed to determine the purpose for which the check was written in order to properly charge back to the point of origin. Checks which were written to the College for the following purposes are entered onto the Student's account:

Tuition and Fees
Room and Board
Campus Housing Damages
Auto Fines
Other Miscellaneous Charges

This not only charges the student's account but also creates the necessary entry to the fiscal system. A returned item assessment is charged to the respective student's account for each check returned. The amount of the bad check can only be eliminated from the student's account by receiving payment, in cash or certified funds, or by a write-off if it is determined to be uncollectible at a later date. The amount of the returned item assessment can be adjusted off for a valid reason (i.e. bank error caused returned check rather than fault of students).

Bank checks written by non-enrolled students for purposes such as transcripts, housing deposits, application fees, departmental revenue, etc, are not accounted for on the student's account but instead are charged back against the account originally credited and returned to the department personnel responsible for assessing those particular types of charges.

M. Conditions for Reduced Student Fees:

1.     Fort Lewis College students may be eligible for a reduction of their student fees if their college courses require them to be located outside of La Plata County for a minimum of 80% of the school term. Students participating in any exchange program are not eligible for reduced fees.

2.     Faculty or staff within the relevant academic department must notify the Accounts Receivable Office of students eligible for the fee reduction. The notification shall include the student's name and identification number.

3.     The Facilities Use Fee, Student Union Building Fee and the Student Life Center Fee relate to repayment of outstanding bonds and may not be reduced. A student's fees relating to student Activities (including the Transit), Athletics, Health/Counseling Center, etc. may be reduced to zero.

4.     If a student's fees are reduced, the student is not permitted to use the services provided by these fees.

 

IV. COLLECTIONS

A.         The student will receive an email notification that a bill is available for viewing on the student's pin protected electronic account and is responsible for the payment of all charges, including tuition, fees, room, board and other institutional charges. Access to view and pay bills is available for parents and others through the Student Account Suite website. Students grant permission and set all third parties up using this website. Payment Plans are available for all terms. Payment of the bill must reach this office by the published census date or the payment plan due date. The census date is the twelfth day of each term.

Students who receive financial aid and then withdraw may be required to repay all or a proportionate amount of aid received. Repayment amounts are determined in accordance with federal, state and institutional regulations and policies. Refunds and repayments for all students receiving federal financial aid will be calculated using the Title IV prorata refund schedule.

Students requesting deferral of payments must contact the Accounts Receivable Office during the payment period and, if they have approved financial aid pending, they are required to sign a Financial Agreement, specifying a date the payment will be made.

B.         Students with money in transit or extenuating circumstances are required to follow the above listed process. Third Party bills are prepared for students whose circumstances warrant this procedure, i.e. National Guard Tuition Assistance, Concurrent Admission Program with area high schools, Colorado Division of Rehabilitation, etc.  The College will not impose a penalty or require the beneficiary to borrow additional funds to cover tuition and fees due to late payments from the VA.

C.         During the academic term, student accounts and accounts receivable detail are continuously analyzed by the A/R staff to assure correct balances and accurate reporting. The A/R staff is responsible for the billing and collection of all student accounts; however, the actual receipt of student payments is handled by the Cashier's Office.

D.         At the end of the payment period, those students who have failed to pay or sign a Financial Agreement are notified by mail, according to College policy of impending disenrollment. Failure to heed this notice results in administrative withdrawal from classes. Notification is sent to each instructor informing them of the students who have not yet paid. If the student fails to clear his account at this time, the financial termination is finalized. If the student subsequently pays the bill and requests reinstatement of course credits and grades after financial termination, that student will be required to pay, or provide proof of approved financial aid, for future tuition and fees before being permitted to register for any future classes.

E.         Refunds are processed for students due funds from the College for properly adjusted accounts, excess financial aid, or from housing security deposits.

F.         After the end of the term, the student is notified of pending transmission of outstanding accounts to  collection agencies for appropriate collection and/or legal action. Fort Lewis College submits all delinquent accounts to collection agencies at 60 days past due or 30 days past the registration period for the next semester for current students. Should this become necessary, reasonable collection fees based upon a percentage of the debt will be added to the amount due and shall be paid by the debtor. If the College or the collection agency obtains judgment from a court or competent jurisdiction, the debtor shall be liable for the collection agency fee as well as reasonable court costs and attorney's fees.  Past due accounts submitted to collection agencies will be reported to credit bureaus.  Educational loans are exempt from dismissal in bankruptcy proceedings.

Any governmentally sponsored grant, contract, gift, or program, including federal, state, local, or other governmental entity has a total blanket exemption from referral to a collection agency. Any institution, however, can refer these types of debts, at their discretion, to a collection agency at any time.

G.  At least annually, the College will certify and submit to the Colorado Department of Revenue a list of debtors who owe past due accounts to the College to determine if the debtor is due any Colorado tax refunds against which the debt may be offset.  All past due debts having a valid social security number shall be submitted for collection through the tax offset process.

The College will add new accounts and review and reconcile past due accounts sent for tax offset each month.  The College will monitor updates to balances, changes of account balances due to received payments, and removal of accounts from the offset files due to balances paid in full as the information becomes available.

The State of Colorado Department of Revenue will notify the debtor of the intent to offset, if a tax refund is due to the debtor.  If a debtor is determined by the Department of Revenue to be entitled to refund, the Department of Revenue shall transfer to the State Treasury the lesser of the refund amount or the amount owed to the College.  The State Treasurer shall disburse such amount to the College.


Revision History

Policy revised November 12, 2014 to add the word "diploma" to first sentence of policy statement 6.C.

Policy revised July 1, 2019 to account for the change in summer term and the elimination of short-term loans.