Classes dropped for students who miss Bursar deadline

Anna Staver

As of today, 235 Kent State students with an outstanding balance at the Bursar’s Office will be dropped from all their classes.

Those students had until noon Tuesday to settle any unpaid tuition, fines or fees. Although they will be dropped from their classes today, students have until Nov. 18 to come in, pay up and be reinstated.

The process began in October when warning letters and emails were sent out to the 2,266 students at Kent State who still owed some money for this semester’s tuition.

Greg Jarvie, vice president of Enrollment Management, said despite all these attempts, some students still don’t realize that they have an outstanding balance.

“Our biggest frustration is that we are throwing all these attempts out there, and students aren’t following up,” Jarvie said.

Jarvie said it is because some students don’t use or check their Kent State email account.

In previous semesters students would have to pay the balance in full immediately or withdraw from Kent State. Jarvie said having students pay the full semester’s tuition without receiving any credit is nothing but a lose-lose situation for students.

“In the past these students have been told, ‘sorry, we have no other choice,’” Jarvie said.

Unlike the previous years, this semester the Bursar’s Office and the Student Financial Aid Office have more options to help students still looking to bridge the tuition gap.

Jarvie said each student who comes in during the next week will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some could be put on a payment plan, or sign a promissory note. And some students could be sent to the Student Financial Aid Office for assistance.

This year the Student Financial Aid Office also has more options thanks to the Last Dollar Fund.

“This is a one-time scholarship grant for students who owe a balance for the current semester and have exhausted all other forms of financial aid,” said Anissa Strickland, associate director for Student Financial Aid.

The Last Dollar Fund is supported through contributions made by faculty and staff at Kent State, and this year they raised over $80,000. The money is awarded at the discretion of the Student Financial Aid Office and is considered a one-time deal with no need for repayment.

The Last Dollar Fund has helped 26 students bridge the gap this semester, Strickland said, with the average grant being about $1,500.

The fund is not available for students who have an outstanding balance as a result of fines, parking tickets or room damage.

“It’s not for the student who says, ‘I really don’t want a student loan,’” Strickland said.

Jarvie and Strickland said they would caution students against coming in and expecting a handout because these new options are only used as measures of last resort.

The most important thing for a student with an outstanding balance now is to “come and see someone here at the Bursar’s Office and try and resolve their debt,” Bursar Manager Don Boland said. “We can’t resolve anything unless they come in and talk with us.”

Contact Anna Staver at [email protected].