Unfair policy

For the three years I have attended NIU and without complaint, I’ve put up with and tolerated construction, tuition increases, lack of class offerings and the occasional poor instructor. I believe that most NIU employees are genuinely interested in the students’ well being; however, Bursar’s is the exception.

I paid my partial tuition of $475.22 on Wednesday, Aug. 11, with the intention of paying the rest of the tuition on Saturday, Aug. 14—the last day before a finance charge penalty is applied. I was told by two employees in the Bursar’s office not to worry about the finance charge if the payment was received in full on Saturday, Aug 14. However, to my astonishment and an hour’s drive all Bursar’s drop boxes were taped shut on Saturday. On Monday I paid the remaining amount of $950.77 and once again was assured by Bursar’s personnel there would be no finance charge assessed.

You can imagine my extreme dismay when I opened a bill from Bursar’s to find a $12.01 finance charge assessed to my account. I, like many other students, came to this institution to learn, not to deal with Bursar’s or bureaucracy. This, however, has been a learning experience and this is what I learned..) You are billed a finance charge for the whole interest cycle of the original balance. This means that even if you owe $.01 on your account the finance charge is for what you initially owed.—THIS IS NIU POLICY!

2.) The Fall Schedule book on page 14 states “Grace Period – If the new balance is paid in full within 14-18 days for the Statement date no finance charge will be assessed.” I found new policy means – additional debits and other charges, your new balance is not the new balance after you paid a partial payment. THIS IS NIU POLICY!

4.) This fine institution collects interest on our unpaid balances, however when NIU owes students money (i.e. insurance refund, loans) no interest is returned on money owed. – THIS IS NIU POLICY!

5.) Let’s remember one thing. If it wasn’t for students’ tuition there would be no jobs at Bursars and no NIU. The employees of NIU work for students and tax payers. You work for me.

I want a new policy. The issue needs to be addressed because the current policy is unclear, filled with abstracts, restrictions, and fine print. A new policy is demanded.

Katherine Kraus

Political Science Major