OneStop implements new payment plan

Students must opt in if they want to pay tuition in installments.

Katie Bogensberger

After an upgrade to the University of Minnesota’s electronic payment system, students now have to opt in to pay tuition in installments.
 
In the past, students were automatically allowed to pay in monthly installments if they missed the first billing due date. Now, due to the University-wide MyU system upgrade that rolled out in April, students who want to pay in installments must choose a payment plan.
 
Before the new system, students who paid in installments were charged $35 per semester. The fee is now $20 per semester.
 
Students who choose not to enroll in the payment plan and do not pay the total amount due Saturday — the first billing due date — will be charged a $40 late fee and will get a hold placed on their record.
 
The MyU upgrade, which overhauled University electronic record-keeping systems in April, allows for the use of programs developed outside of the University, said Matthew
Tveter, spokesman for the Office of Student Finance. He said the new payment plan is used at other universities in the country.
 
About 13,000 current students have used the installment plan at least once, Tveter said. He said the University worked to ensure the service would still be offered to students after the upgrade.
 
The plan is available for degree-seeking students who owe more than $300, and students must enroll in the payment plan each semester using the finances tab of MyU.
 
Some students say dealing with tuition in one payment is easier.
 
“It’s much more convenient to pay my tuition online. Then, I can make sure it’s done all at once, and I don’t have to worry about late fees this semester. It takes the stress out of everything,” said retail merchandising senior Lauren Cox.
 
Management information systems and marketing sophomore Josh Bartelme opted out of the payment plan.
 
“I am unhappy that I have to pay a fee in order to pay my tuition bill,” Bartelme said. “I am unsure why an institution as big as ours needs to charge a fee before we can be allowed to make payments.”
 
The University has received some complaints from parents, too. Tveter said parents have complained that only students — and not parents — can indicate they want to sign up for the installment plan.