SBCC students can soon pay for tuition through payment plan

Elizabeth Saubestre, Staff Writer

In attempt to address financial equity barriers, City College will begin offering payment plans for Fall 2019 enrollment.

For a one-time fee of $25, students will be able to choose a two to four month tuition payment plans through a student loan company Nelnet.

Student Finance Manager Nicole Hubert said she has been working on the idea for around a year, but has been interested in the idea for many years prior.

“The biggest one is students would ask for it,” Hubert said. “We want to give them what they need.”

Hubert said the “all or nothing kind of payment” City College has been using would force students to either pay for their classes all at once, or lose their place.

Michael Medel, director of admissions and records, acknowledged that many college students do not have the financial means to pay their entire tuition up-front.

“[It’s] so they’re not getting hit with one giant payment,” Medel said. “We’re talking about a couple 1000 dollars… most students can’t do that.”

The college’s current system drops students if they don’t pay within a week of enrollment.

Medel said this policy was only implemented around five or six years ago, replacing the previous system of dropping students after 24 hours.

Hubert said the old system also left little time for students to coordinate their schedules, but the new system would absolve this issue.

“That’s a really long time to get a work schedule… This allows for them to able to work with their employer,” Hubert said. “We want to remove that anxiety. We want to remove those barriers.”

Medel also said the payment plans would be important for removing barriers.

“When we talk about equity barriers…This has always been a very common one,” he said.

The new plan will also show how full certain classes are before the semester begins.

“I think it will give a more realistic enrollment count,” Medel said. “Without the payment I think students have learned to go seven days, drop and enroll again. That doesn’t give you a very realistic snapshot of what classes are full.”

This will also allow the administration prepare to add more sections for popular classes and get a more accurate understanding of enrollment numbers.

Huber said the payment plan will not be offered  for summer sessions because she “didn’t want students to pay $25 just to pay 50 for summer.”

The new payment plan is still subject to change but will officially go into effect Fall 2019.