UMass Boston Student Payment Plan Working Group

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The student payment plan working group at UMass Boston aims to enhance the billing and collections process to prevent financial troubles for students. By defining and implementing effective payment strategies, the group seeks to ensure that students either pay their bills in full or have a feasible payment plan in place before the add/drop period ends. Additionally, legislative changes regarding transcript and degree withholding are discussed to address student debts.


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UMass Boston Student Payment Plan Working Group

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  1. Student Payment Plan Working Group Group Members: Kerry Boyd, Shawn DeVeau, Stephanie Dollar, John Drew (Co- Sponsor), Chris Giuliani (Chair), Kathleen Kirleis (Co-Sponsor), Patty Overko, Cherly Pierre, Jimmy Sam, Gail Stubbs, and Nina Williams May 9, 2023

  2. Summary of Group Charter Issue Statement:The University s current billing/collections systems allows students to start the semester without fully paying, or demonstrating that they have a plan to pay, enabling students to get into financial trouble. By accelerating billing, collection, and communications timelines, and ensuring students have a plan to pay, we can prevent them from incurring past due balance. Charge of the Group: Help define what plan to pay will mean at UMass Boston and make recommendations for how we can best implement a billing payment strategy that results in students either paying their full bill or having a plan to pay before the end of add/drop Predict and propose solutions to counteract issues that may arise due to changes to existing policies and procedures.

  3. Legislative Changes Laws to prevent withholding of transcript and degrees Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations Passed: California, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota (2), New York, Ohio, Washington, Illinois, Colorado Pending: Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island https:/coheao.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/COHEAO-Transcript-Withholding-Memo-Updated-8.19.22.pdf Massachusetts S. 821, S.2746; H.1347, H.4552 Status: The respective measures were referred to the Committee on Ways and Means in both Chambers. Summary: Initially, the legislation required institutions to provide transcripts to students except that they could withhold credits and grades for any course where the student had not paid tuition and mandatory fees. The bill did not preclude an institution from withhold a student s diploma or degree if they owed a debt. The new bill amends the language to clarify that a school may not withhold transcripts of grades and credits for any paid in full classes but may for those that are not paid in full. Further, it clarifies that an institution may withhold a degree or diploma if a student owes the institution a debt. The language applies to all institutions of higher education.

  4. UMB Current State on Payment Plans Payment Plan is not required Set up in Flywire for a small fee ($30) Requires bank account & routing number or credit card number No interest charges 3 or 4 payments Payment Plan Use (spring 2023) 16.5% of students without a payment plan received a hold and late fee as of March billing Average balance of $5,658 3.7% of students enrolled in a payment plan missed 1st spring payment 1,737 students (12.5%) are enrolled in a payment plan 81.6% of students in collections did not have a payment plan 1,399 students currently in collections

  5. UMB Enrollment by Payer Type Total Enrollment (Spring 2023): 13,881 100.0% Students in Payment Plan 1,737 12.5% Students have sufficient FA to cover 5,019 36.2% Students covered by State (e.g. GI Bill) 493 3.6% Shorelight students 720 5.2% Navitas students 48 0.3% Early College 104 0.7% Graduate Program Fee 405 2.9% Sub total 8,526 61.4% All other Payers 5,355 38.6%

  6. Communications Changes are coming for fall regarding paying for college Letter has been sent to students outlining change Announcement on Bursar webpage There will be some changes to summer sessions to accommodate the new fall process Letter has been sent to students registered for summer re: payment plan change This is not meant to be punitive students with balances often end up in collections and not able to finish the worst thing for students is to owe us money and not have a degree! One-pager for faculty/staff and others has been developed We are working to get them information sooner on bills They should file their FAFSA ASAP They should register ASAP don t wait until add/drop (for lots of reasons) The university will be dropping classes at a couple of points for those that have not done anything to show a plan to pay Housing will figure into this by the end of the process as well

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