Our View: Pay it forward … or else

DKS Editors

With May 2010 graduation seven months away, most seniors probably haven’t even begun preparing to receive their diplomas – which may now be a costly problem.

Last week the university announced, effective for all May 2010 graduate students and August 2010 undergraduates, a $200 late fee will be assessed to anyone who fails to submit his or her application for graduation on time. The fee was supposed to go in effect for any undergraduate who missed the Sept. 15 deadline for May 2010 graduation, but the university backed off to work out some kinks.

The issue with this late fee seems to be with implementation and enforcement. If the university wants to charge students for handing in late applications, it must be proactive and consistent.

It’s up to the university and individual colleges to notify every potential graduate of the application deadlines repeatedly, to ensure there is absolutely no confusion on the matter.

If a student does fail to miss the application deadline, it is imperative that a universal set of enforcement rules be set up to ensure fairness. It simply wouldn’t be fair if a student from the College of the Arts was charged a late fee for a late application while a student from the College of Nursing didn’t get charged because of the way the two schools enforce the policy. Consistency is the key. No exceptions.

Finally the university must justify charging students an extra $200 dollars for forgetting to fill out the application on time. Students pay thousands of dollars in tuition, outrageous amounts of money for housing, as well as textbooks and this late fee is yet another seemingly unnecessary charge.

How much additional work would it take for someone to go over an application fee a day or two after it was due? Two hundred dollars may not seem like a lot of money, but to a bunch of kids who live off of pizza and beer, it is. There needs to be some sort of concrete explanation of this fee for it to be legitimate, or else it will be viewed as just another unjustified cost brought on by a university that has already taken plenty of money from students’ wallets.

The bottom line is pay it forward, and start getting ready for graduation, even if you don’t want to think about it, or your wallet will be $200 lighter.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board whose members are listed to the left.