WKU giving students more time to pay bills

Natalie Hayden

WKU’s non-payment drop date for students is quickly approaching.

Come Feb. 21, students who have not paid their bills will have a hold put on their account in accordance with a new school policy. Students will have until March 26 to pay their bills.

The new policy is a way to give a little leeway to students who may not realize when their bills are due, said Brian Meredith, associate vice president of Enrollment Management.

“What we are trying to do is increase awareness that students need to pay their bills and settle their balances,” he said. “We are increasing communication and allowing some warning time.”

The new policy gives a longer grace period to students.

Doug McElroy, associate vice president of Enrichment and Effectiveness, said the new system was created in hopes of benefitting students.

“Not having hard drop dates, but flexible, and also the new policy gives a period of time where students can be reinstated if they come in and pay their bill,” he said.

The old system processed the bills within a week of the payment date, and many students were unknowingly taken off Blackboard, Bursar Belinda Higginbotham said.

Higginbotham said many students would be unable to log in to Blackboard, realize what had happened and come in late to pay their bills. The new policy is trying to prevent this from happening.

“After the Feb. 21 due date, we are placing students on financial warning,” she said. “We will send students a notice with an extension to get their payment in.”

Students will have until March 26 to pay before they will be kicked off Blackboard and out of classes. Afterwards is the “point of no return,” Meredith said.

“Once students are dropped for non-payment, it’s what is called a hard drop.” Higginbotham said. “They won’t be allowed in their classes anymore.”

Meredith said the hard drop policy is needed because letting students in class when they haven’t paid is unfair to students who have paid.

Both Meredith and Higginbotham said the Feb. 21 date is the most important and urge students to pay their bills by then.

Bills can be paid on TopNet or in the Billings and Receivables office.