The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

City College officially launches tuition payment plan program

Kai Zheng
Illustration by Kai Zheng

City College has recently launched a new monthly payment plan aimed at reducing the barrier of students having to pay hundreds of dollars at once in order to register for classes.

The college has partnered with federal student loan servicer Nelnet to offer a payment plan for tuition and enrollment costs. This service launched with a soft release last fall.

According to City College’s cost of attendance page on its website, it costs students $1,288 for in-state tuition and enrollment fees for 14 units. Tuition for out-of-state residents can cost up to $7,980 more.

The payment plan allows students to pay off all tuition and mandatory enrollment fees in monthly installments over the course of two to four months instead of having to pay the full amount within seven days of registering without the risk of being dropped from classes.

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“We’ve had a great response,” said Student Finance Manager Nicole Hubert. “Often [students] have enough to pay partial, but not the full amount.”

Hubert said 165 students participated in the plan in the fall semester and 122 students are signed up for a payment plan for the current spring semester.

Students can sign up for the payment plan after registering for classes through their Pipeline starting the first day of registration for the fall and spring terms. Enrollment in the payment plan closes the week before classes start each semester.

Nelnet charges a $25 setup fee and the length of the plan depends on when students sign up.

If enrolled in the plan for the spring semester before Nov. 20 students would have four installments in the months of December through March. However, if enrolled after Dec. 20, they would only have February and March to complete payments.

Since it is a short-term payment plan, it differs from a loan and it is interest-free. There are no credit checks prior to enrollment with Nelnet.

The plan also helps the college accurately plan how many students will be registered for specific classes as students won’t be dropped for not paying their tuition within seven days.

“It definitely has lots of benefits across the board for the college and students,” Hubert said.

Hubert added that fiscal services worked with departments all over campus, such as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services and financial aid, in order to ensure the payment plan would properly serve each type of student.

“It was definitely a college-wide effort,” said Hubert. “It really was an obvious choice because the students were requesting a payment plan.”

Because students have more time to fully pay their tuition with the payment plan, they can secure their registration in the classes they want and can coordinate with their work schedule, Hubert said.

Hubert also said that Nelnet was the best choice for City College to partner with as it is “flexible, secure, convenient” and Nelnet automatically readjusts payments based on students’ financial aid or schedule changes. Additionally, the payment plan does not cost the college anything.

Payment plans are also available for past due balances or financial holds through a petition submitted to the Cashier’s Office. The plan is permitted for special circumstances such as financial aid pullbacks or residency reclassification.

“The goal for the college is to meet student needs and reduce that barrier for registration,” Hubert said.

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