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Letter to the Editor: Let’s Stop Deleting Student Schedules for Late Payment Two Weeks before The Semester

Why does our University withdraw students from classes for late payment two weeks before the start of the semester? 

This semester, 290 MU students were deregistered from classes for late payment.  The skyrocketing costs of college puts an enormous strain on families, particularly on families with more than one child attending college. 

One of the students deregistered this semester has four siblings in college, two of whom also attend Monmouth.  Can you imagine what it must be like for parents trying to put five kids through college?  Her parents are our society’s real-life superheroes and deserve to be treated better than this.

My sense is we’re swatting flies with sledgehammers with this family unfriendly deregistration policy.  Many of the 290 Monmouth students found themselves in shouting matches with parents over being withdrawn from classes, at least that’s what would be happening in my house.  My daughter would have a heart attack if withdrawn from classes two weeks before the start of the semester. 

And it’s during these needless family fights that faculty advisors like me are asked to reach out to students to offer help in reregistering for classes, which is socially awkward and a huge waste of time.

Re-registration takes a half hour per student since there’s no longer a record of the original registration once withdrawn. 

Students are also sometimes near tears when re-registering because classes fill and some lose the opportunity to take classes with favorite professors and/or create a schedule that aligns with work schedules.  

It’s also extremely embarrassing for students to have to explain personal financial matters to faculty when asking to be re-enrolled in a now full course.

During this entirely avoidable high drama re-registration process, students also come to view university administrators as cold-hearted, and commonly say things like “Monmouth only cares about money,” which is severely damaging to our campus ethos.

Withdrawing students from classes for late payment two weeks before the start of the semester is exceedingly harsh and insensitive to what some families have to go through in order to secure a college loan.

I looked at the policy at a nearby public university and found students are not withdrawn from classes for late payment until the second week of the semester. 

So why are we deregistering students for late payment two weeks before the start of classes when others don’t take this action until the second week of the semester?

 It’s also important to emphasize that no student will be able to receive college credits without first paying tuition if we eliminate this policy. 

Registrar offices have complete control over the dissemination of transcripts and diplomas, and don’t have to release them if there’s as much as an overdue library fine.

So in that sense this policy is a solution in search of a problem.  Or, to paraphrase Francis Bacon, this policy’s cure is worse than the disease. 

Let’s be a family-friendly university and change our policy so that students are no longer deregistered from classes for late payment two weeks before the start of classes.

PHOTO TAKEN from Monmouth University