"It's the right thing to do for students," said Laura Humberger, assistant vice president of Financial Services for MSU in Bozeman. "We know it will be popular, because thousands of students have been paying their tuition in person or over the phone rather than use the online option - mostly driven by the desire to save $10."
As part of the change, MSU will no longer process credit card payments over the phone or through the mail.
During the 2010-2011 academic year, MSU in Bozeman processed 8,852 tuition payments online and assessed $10 for each one. By comparison, the university manually processed 19,420 credit card and check transactions for tuition payments during the same period of time.
The vast majority of those 19,420 transactions were processed by cashiers at two windows on the first floor of the university's main administrative building, Montana Hall. During peak fee payment time each semester it is a common sight to see students lined up outside the cashier windows, while other employees assist the cashiers by processing payments in a back room.
"It may seem like a small thing, but when you're trying to pay for thousands of dollars of tuition with a credit card online and then you get dinged $10 for handing your money over - it's incredibly annoying," said Kiah Abbey, president of the Associated Students of MSU. "Removing this fee will be very popular."
MSU's campuses in Billings, Great Falls and Havre have also charged the $10 fee for tuition payments, and will also be removing it.
According to Humberger, the change is expected to improve student service in the business offices of all the campuses.
"Processing tens of thousands of credit card and check transactions manually eats up an enormous amount of time - time that we will now be able to spend helping students with questions and concerns about their finances," Humberger said.
Contact: Laura Humberger, assistant vice president, Financial Services, (406) 994-4361, firstname.lastname@example.org