New e-billing system will begin this fall

Amanda Garrett

On the college-popularity list, paying tuition ranks near the bottom, close to 10-page term papers and geology lectures.

Beginning this fall, the Bursar’s Office hopes to ease some of the pain by making bill paying a faster and more flexible process.

The new electronic billing system allows students to access their accounts online at the Bursar’s Web site by using their Flashline user ID and password. Students will also receive electronic bills through their Flashmail e-mail accounts.

Regular bills will also be mailed out during the fall semester, and all due dates and bill paying options will remain the same, Bursar Leslie Carter said. The Bursar’s Office will study the results of the fall semester, and they hope to move to only electronic billing by Spring 2006, Carter said.

Federal regulations require accounts to be in a student’s name even when parents are the primary bill payers, said Sara Charleston, office manager in the Bursar’s Office.

To make bill paying easier for parents, the new system allows students to create authorized users. While accessing their account information, students can give their parents, or anyone else, a password to allow access to the account.

For security reasons, all the information is encrypted, and no Social Security numbers appear in online accounts, Carter said.

The new system will save the university money by eliminating the cost of mailing almost 28,000 bills, Charleston said.

“Each letter costs 54 to 75 cents to mail,” she said. “And then we get a large amount of returned mail that we have to pay postage on twice. The electronic system will save a large amount, and it is also a more environmentally conscious system.”

So far, the new system has been a success, Charleston said. Since publishing the first bills online and sending the first e-mails, 1,900 students have looked at their bills.

Those students who have not set up their Flashline account can call the university HelpDesk at (330) 672-4357. For any other questions or to access an account, students can log-in to the Bursar’s Web site at or call (330) 672-2626.

Contact on-campus reporter Amanda Garrett at [email protected].