Guilford Invoices Go Green
Dear Guilford College Students and Parents,
Guilford College student billing has gone green! Beginning with the fall 2013 student billing, we will no longer be mailing paper invoices! We previously announced our partnership with Higher One and our plans to begin billing Guilford students electronically through a secure Internet portal. This system is now live, and the first electronic invoices will be available July 1.
- Electronic statements will be provided through our new Internet portal, and up-to-date balances will be available 24/7 at this secure site.
- Students and parents will be able to easily process electronic payments for all enrollment-related charges.
- Our new online portal will also allow families needing deferred payment options to quickly set up monthly payment plans.
- Enhanced refund options have already been introduced. More timely refunds are now being issued, and students are no longer required to pick up refund checks at New Garden Hall.
As economic uncertainty continues and so many families are impacted by job losses, we are ever mindful of our responsibility to be diligent stewards of funds entrusted to us by our students, their parents and others who support us. Guilford College remains committed to providing excellent instructional and transformative programs as cost effectively as possible, and we are focused on efficiencies and opportunities for reductions in our operating costs.
The College provides students the convenience of using credit or debit cards to pay tuition, fees, and other enrollment-related costs. However, the fees associated with these transactions must be paid to financial institutions, and the cost to Guilford College for accepting credit and debit card payments has been about $150,000 annually. While we certainly understand the reasons families choose these payment methods, we also believe these funds are better spent supporting our educational mission. Thus, in order to continue accepting credit and debit card payments, the changes summarized below are necessary and will be implemented effective July 1, 2013.
- Payments of tuition, fees, room and board, and other enrollment-related charges made with VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express cards will be assessed a non-refundable 2.75% convenience fee.
- Families wishing to avoid convenience fee charges are encouraged to use online checks, ACH payments, wire transfers, personal checks, or other available payment options.
- Although we previously announced that VISA card payments would no longer be accepted for enrollment-related charges, VISA has now become eligible for our new program. Thus, VISA debit and credit cards will be accepted through the online portal.
- Credit or debit card payments for tuition, fees, room and board, and other enrollment-related charges will now be accepted only through our new online payment portal. Credit or debit card payments over the telephone will no longer be available.
- The only forms of payment accepted in the Student Financial Services (SFS) office for paying tuition and other enrollment-related charges will be cash, check or money order. However, online access will be provided to SFS visitors wishing to make payments through our new Internet payment portal.
We believe good stewardship compels Guilford College to discontinue our past practice of paying credit card service fees for our students, and to use those funds to further the mission of the College. Many institutions have already implemented this change (e.g., Earlham College, Elon University, and High Point University) and others are developing similar plans. We made our decision to enhance the billing, payment, and refund processes after considerable review and with an awareness of the very positive impact we believe it will have on our students and their families.
We will soon be providing more information about these new processes. Please let us know if you have questions.
Greg Bursavich, CPA
Vice President for Finance