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POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Student Accounts Receivable Collection Policy and Procedures

DATE OF ISSUANCE: Policy was approved by the President's Council on October 17, 1995.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: Enrollment Services. General questions about policy content should be directed to Enrollment Services, x8-8186.

ABSTRACT: This policy details the specific process and steps used to resolve any outstanding student account balance.


Note:  The Student Receivable Collection Policy and Procedures will be under review in the fall of 2011, with the expectation that the policy will be vacated.  In the interim, the current Student Financial Obligation Statement is the appropriate reference point.  That statement is provided to all students through Student Information Online (SIO), and may be accessed at http://www.cmu.edu/hub/billing/sfo/index.html.  Questions about this statement may be directed to Brian Hill, Director of Student Accounts.


Student Accounts Receivable Collection Policy and Procedures

Policy Statement

A student is responsible for the payment of charges incurred at the university by the stated payment deadline. The purpose of this policy statement is to detail the specific process and action steps to be used to resolve any outstanding student account balance.

Procedural Overview

Enrollment Services will take progressive action to resolve any student account balance greater than $500. These actions include: communication, first with the student and second with the parent/s, regarding the account status, academic and administrative consequences of nonpayment, and the provision of information and realistic payment options to resolve the delinquent balance; communication with appropriate university service administrators and the associate dean of the student's college concerning the same issues communicated to the student and parent/s.

In situations where the university attempts to resolve the outstanding balance but the student has not made or met satisfactory arrangements for payment, the university will take one or both of the following two actions: (1) financial suspension and/or (2) wage garnishment.

  1. In the case of a financial suspension, the student will be restricted from registering for and enrolling in university courses and programs, and s/he will be prohibited from using university academic and administrative services. These services include, but are not limited to, computing facilities, library services, housing, dining, career center services, degree verification and the release of (official) academic transcripts.
  2. If a student is employed by Carnegie Mellon, the university may garnish the student's wages to recover the amount due to the university. The cashier will notify the student prior to any action, and the amount to be garnished will be tailored to individual circumstances.

Procedures

Currently Enrolled Student/New Balance Due

Enrollment Services will notify, in writing, any enrolled student who has an account balance greater than $500 for 20 days beyond the stated payment due date. The letter will state that s/he risks administrative action by the university, including possible financial suspension, if the student does not resolve the outstanding balance.

Graduating student with any balance due:
During the spring semester, Enrollment Services will notify, in writing, any graduating student with an account balance. The letter will clearly address the outstanding balance and consequences of nonpayment. It will be mailed with the student's follow-up spring semester statement/s of student account. Any graduating student who does not clear his/her account balance prior to commencement will not receive a diploma. In addition, the student will be prohibited from using university academic and administrative services. These services include, but are not limited to, computing facilities, library services, housing, dining, career center services, degree verification and the release of (official) academic transcripts.

Currently Enrolled Students/Carry-over Balance Due

A student who received account balance action letters from Enrollment Services during the previous semester, and who has an account balance greater than $500 following the current semester deadline for enrollment, will be subject to the following procedures.

  1. Enrollment Services will send notification of continued nonpayment after the 15th day of classes (third week) to the student and parent/s, the university service administrators and the associate dean of the student's college. This action will be documented in the student's administrative records.
  2. Enrollment Services will work with the student and parent/s to resolve the financial issue. Payment arrangements will follow standard practices related to collections, to include a promissory note with a specified repayment schedule within the current semester. Requests for exceptions to standard collection practices, such as extending the payment schedule beyond the current semester, must be made in writing to the vice president for enrollment. All requests will be reviewed by the Student Accounts Receivable Committee, composed of the vice president for enrollment, vice president for business, the dean of student affairs and the directors of Enrollment Services. Input from the associate dean of the student's college will be requested and considered. When a payment agreement is reached, Enrollment Services will mail a letter to the student and parent/s detailing the conditions of the agreement and the risk of financial suspension if the agreement is not fulfilled. This correspondence will be copied to representatives of the Student Accounts Receivable Committee and to the associate dean of the student's college.

If a financial agreement is not reached, the student will be financially suspended. The student will be prohibited from using university academic and administrative services. These services include, but are not limited to, computing facilities, library services, housing, dining, career center services, degree verification and the release of (official) academic transcripts for the upcoming semester.

  1. If the student is an employee of the university, the university may garnish the student's wages to recover the amount due to the university. Enrollment Services will notify the student prior to any action, and the amount garnished will be tailored to individual circumstances.
  2. Prior to the registration period for the upcoming semester, Enrollment Services will send correspondence to any student who has a carry-over balance and who has not developed or maintained a satisfactory repayment plan. This correspondence will advise the student and parent/s that the student will be ineligible to register for the upcoming semester until s/he pays the balance in full. This correspondence will be copied to representatives of the Student Accounts Receivable Committee, university service administrators and the associate dean of the student's college. Additionally, the student will be prohibited from using university academic and administrative services. These services include, but are not limited to, computing facilities, library services, housing, dining, career center services, degree verification and the release of (official) academic transcripts for the upcoming semester.
  3. If the student has an overdue balance at the completion of the current term (a carry-over balance greater than or equal to $500 for 2 consecutive terms), Enrollment Services will send a letter to the student and parent/s to advise them that the student has been "financially suspended" and that s/he will not be permitted to return to the university until the account balance is paid in full. This correspondence will be copied to representatives of the Student Accounts Receivable Committee, university service administrators and to the associate dean of the student's college.

If at any point in the process the student's account balance is paid in full, Enrollment Services will update the student's enrollment status and release the hold on his/her academic and financial records. The student will then be able to register for courses and use university academic and administrative services. Enrollment Services will also notify the appropriate university academic and administrative staff members.

Delinquent Account/Financially Suspended

A student who has been financially suspended and who retains an account balance will be subject to the following procedures.

  1. Enrollment Services will send a series of financial status letters to the student indicating the consequences of nonpayment or continued account delinquency. Enrollment Services will mail the first letter when the student is classified as having a delinquent balance, with follow-up letters at distinct intervals from the point in time Enrollment Services determines that the student's account is in a delinquent status. Enrollment Services will also use telephone conferences with the student and parent/s.
  2. Enrollment Services will note any response to the financial status letter or telephone communication with the student and parent/s in the student's financial records, along with any arrangements for payment. Enrollment Services will update the student's account balance to reflect any payment and will assign an appropriate follow-up review date to ensure that the student continues to take action to resolve the financial delinquency.

If at any point in time Enrollment Services determines that internal collection efforts have been unsuccessful, Enrollment Services will refer the student's account to an outside collection agency. Enrollment Services will notify the student and parent/s before any referral to a collection agency.

If the student's account balance is paid in full at any point in the process, Enrollment Services will update the student's account status and release the hold on his/her academic and financial records. The student will be able to register for courses and use university academic and administrative services. Enrollment Services will notify the appropriate university academic and administrative staff members.

Contact

Questions concerning this policy may be directed to:

Enrollment Services
Warner Hall 12C, x8-8186



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