UT-Austin to simplify tuition payment process

Sam Halloum

The University will make seven changes to the tuition payment process starting this fall to make it simpler for students, as recommended by the Tuition Payment Deadline and Funds Flow Working Group

Project lead Carolyn Connerat said one of the biggest changes the University will implement is moving the due date for undergraduate fall tuition to Aug. 17, when financial aid disperses. Additionally, institutional scholarships will automatically pay current tuition and housing debts, and tuition and housing due dates will be aligned, according to the Texas One Stop website

“It will make it easier for students, when they confirm attendance, to know that their financial aid or other scholarships will defer that payment, so they will not have to make a payment or worry about how they’re going to come up with that money,” said Connerat, the associate vice provost for Enrollment Management and Student Success. 

The number of tuition due dates for students who choose to pay in installments will be lowered from five to three. The University will also lower the minimum amount for the first tuition payment to $1,500 for in-state students and $5,000 for out-of-state students.

“Today, the minimum amount due that you have to come up with is about 50% of your tuition,” Connerat said. “We’ve reduced that so that it’s about 20%.” 

Jennifer Love, director of Texas One Stop for Enrollment Services, said tuition can currently only be paid using one form of payment, including financial aid, checks and credit cards, rather than switching between multiple for different installments. However, she said the University will begin to accept multiple forms of payment for different installments. 

“We know (students and families) are bringing together financing potentially from many different avenues and places,” Love said. 

UT will introduce a financial responsibility statement for students to sign before completing their registration that consolidates relevant information about tuition payment into one form, Connerat said. The statement will include information about due dates, consequences for payment failure, an installment plan promissory note and more, according to a copy of the statement obtained by The Daily Texan.

“Nothing is new in that statement,” Love said. “It’s just all in one location.”

The University will also redesign its tuition webpages and introduce a mobile-friendly version, according to the website.

Steven Ding, a management information systems and urban studies junior, said he understands  the confusion over tuition payment. 

“Students have questions about a lot of (paying tuition),” Ding said. “When I first got here, it was a pain. You had to run between the tuition billing office and the financial aid office if you have something like that.” 

Ding is also the policy director and president-elect for the UT Senate of College Councils. He said that helping students understand the complexities of University policy regarding issues such as tuition is one of Senate’s main goals.

“The registration system (is) complaint number one every year, every day, and projects like this are kind of like in the queue,” Ding said. “These are the kinds of projects … (that) continue to make our registration systems and other student facing systems more simple and easy to use.”

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 6 issue of The Daily Texan.