Banner alters tuition calculation

Kristine Gill

Tuition calculation for students taking classes at the Kent campus and one or more of the regional campuses has been changed due to the university’s switch to Banner, the software now used to run FlashLine.

Under the new calculation system, the more than 450 students who take classes at both the Kent campus and a regional campus will be charged more for tuition.

A committee of technical experts, staff from the bursar and registrar’s offices, and deans from regional campuses met Friday to discuss methods to solve the problem, but they did not reach a solution, said Matthew Fajack, executive director of financial affairs.

Kent State calculates tuition based on three separate rates according to the level and number of hours taken at regional and main campuses. The three rates include lower level courses taken at regional campuses, higher level courses taken at regional campuses and any course taken at the Kent campus. Banner only supports two different rates, which requires reevaluation if students are to be charged the same under the new system.

Fajack said the new system of calculation is temporary and that work is being done to fix it.

“The goal is still not to charge anyone anymore than the tuition cap,” Fajack said.

The tuition cap currently in place charges a student for each credit hour up until the 11th hour, said David Creamer, senior vice president for administration. He added that each hour after the eleventh is free.

Creamer found that tuition calculation using two rates under Banner slightly reduces the cost to students in some instances, but charges students about $400 more in most cases.

Fajack said that until a solution is decided upon and implemented, the 466 students affected by the change in calculation may experience some confusion.

“Since it’s manual, someone might get a bill today and it might be wrong,” Fajack said.

Fajack said a solution will be in place before the next bills go out on Nov. 26.

“We’ll make a decision to run alternatives, write a report then we will decide what were going to do and apply the exemptions before the bills go out,” Fajack said.

One alternative discussed at the meeting involves both a computer program and manpower.

“The most viable alternative is to let the system calculate the tuition and then run a report that looks for people who are over the cap and then manually adjust it using exemptions,” Fajack said.

A FlashLine message sent Oct. 9 announced that tuition calculation would change as a result of the switch to Banner. Creamer said the announcement was to make students aware of the worst case scenario.

“We wanted to make sure we created an awareness of the change,” he said. “We’re continuing to find ways that would eliminate any negatives with the change.”

Creamer said that while Banner has forced reevaluation of several policies, it still makes more sense to accommodate Banner by changing tuition calculation.

“The cost of (modification) would be substantial and everyone loses in that system,” he said.

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Kristine Gill at [email protected]