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Have You Paid Your Bills?

The University’s Office of the Bursar Handles All of Students’ Billing Needs


Each semester, many students find themselves in classes where their names aren’t on the roster. If they have experienced financial difficulty in paying for the class, or the University has not received their payments, then the Office of the Bursar is here to help.

The Office of the Bursar deals with matters of tuition, room, board and fees and all other aspects of students’ financial accounts. “We also charge for any books that are charged against a student’s financial aid,” said Jonas Javier, Bursar. “Another primary thing we do is process student refunds after financial aid or any over payments, and we also disperse any financial aid that a student is receiving.”

One of the consequences of not paying bills by the deadlines that the Office of the Bursar sets each semester is being dropped from the classes that were not paid for in a process called deregistration. “Deregistration happens long after the actual semester payment deadline is,” said Javier. “Even though it sounds unjust, in reality what that does is open up course registration for other students who have paid their bills.”

Often students will find the means to submit their payments after the deadline and after which point they have already been dropped from their classes. For this, the Office of the Bursar has a solution. “We have a process called retroactive registration, in which we do instruct students that have been cancelled,” said Javier.

Javier also talks about the Family Edu cational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that has been updated this school year. In previous years, the policy stated that students must fill out the appropriate form in the beginning of each year in order for the Office of the Bursar to disclose financial information to select family members. “Starting this September if you fill it out once, it is good for the duration of your academic career,” Javier explains.

As financial issues may be a difficult matter to deal with, the Office of the Bursar can be seen in a negative light. Even if students’ problems are resolved, solutions were not easily achieved. “I had to get a book voucher the first week of school to be able to get my books with financial aid,” said sophomore Jennifer Hoffman. “For the most part the people in the office were nice, but I had to see about three different people in order to get the book voucher. I found it to be annoying because all they had to do was look at my account and write down on a piece of paper how much I had. It literally took maybe two minutes. They sort of made a somewhat simple task more complicated.”

Junior Emily Remo describes a similar experience. “Everyone always sends you to someone else, and that person does the same. Issues are usually resolved, but you need a bit of time. Be prepared to talk to a few people before anything is done,” Remo said.

Despite these testaments of long and unorganized ways of arriving at a solution, the Office of the Bursar advocates for its open access to students and willingness to help. Javier said that someone is available to talk to students every Monday through Friday until 5:00 pm and are accessible via email for those using their student email accounts and by phone. He also said that the office posts regularly on Web Advisor account summaries with any important messages they may have.

As frustrating as it may be for financially troubled students to deal with a Bursar, the employees in this office also have to deal with students and parents in distress, which Javier said can be just as frustrating. “It’s always expected. Tuition and fees are a sensitive issue so we understand there will be some students or parents that are difficult,” he said. “We deal with them as best we can. We try to be understanding to a certain extent, but we do expect payments to be made by the deadline.”

The Bursar’s office is aware of their negative reputation on campus, and wants to shake the unfriendly image. “We want to portray ourselves as an office that can help. Of course, we’re not exactly the most popular on campus and that’s understandable,” Javier said. “We do want students to understand that we are accessible for any questions or concerns that they may have. We are open to assisting in any way.”

To avoid an unpleasant trip to the Office of the Bursar, Javier advises that students take early action. “Certainly keep in contact with the financial aid office, make sure your documentation is in on time and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to pay your bills,” Javier said.

For those looking to get ahead for the spring semester, bills are mailed in mid-November and the deadline is December 5, 2012. For more information, visit www.monmouth.edu/ campus_life/bursar.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu