UDM drops VISA over fee charges
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 23:04
Beginning in July, UDM will no longer accept VISA for tuition payments.
The move aims to lower expenses and enhance efficiency, according to Cheryl Styczynski, director of student accounting, who announced the change in an email to students.
UDM spends approximately $300,000 annually in credit-card transaction fees.
The decision to no longer accept VISA was due to the higher service fees that VISA charges, Styczynski said.
Discover, American Express and MasterCard will still be accepted for online payments, though UDM will assess a 2.75 percent convenience fee.
The changes have drawn criticism from some UDM students, who have been posting objections on the “My Life Is UDM” Facebook page.
The Student Accounting Office also will no longer accept credit-card payments over the phone or in the office, and only cash, check and money orders will be accepted in person or via mail. Electronic checks will still be accepted without an additional fee.
Tom Lorenzo, a 22-year-old electrical engineering student, said he would be forced to change the way he pays for school.
“I will now be paying my tuition by check since I refuse to pay for UDM’s operating cost,” he said.
Lorenzo is upset that the university is choosing to pass these fees to students, many of whom already have large loans. He sees the fees as an added burden.
He urges students to fight back.
“I believe the university fully explained their decision. However, I do not agree that is the right decision,” he said. “Verizon recently tried to impose a similar tax on its customers and after customer outrage, this policy was redacted. I highly encourage students to speak out at their disdain for the new policy. The university in essence is simply now asking that we pay them in order to pay them.”
School officials said the money saved by these changes would be devoted to enhancing learning resources.