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Letters to the Editor: May 18, 2005

I read in the Toledo Blade that the University will begin charging a 2.5 percent fee for all credit card payments this summer. On the face of it, this seems fair, given the fees that the University has to pay to accept such payments.

However, the University regularly bills students for the upcoming semester with a due date that precedes the date that the University disburses their federal loans.

Of course, as I have been told several times by Bursar employees, this is not a problem – simply pay a fee to the University for a short term loan until your loans disburse.

I was also told once by a Bursar employee that I could just “wait and see” if my wife’s funds would disburse before her classes got dropped. Obviously, that’s not an option when you are dealing with prerequisites and full classes.

The way around this for many people is to put it on their credit card and “float” it for a couple of weeks until the University disburses your loans. No fees, no dropped classes.

But now, it seems that the University has taken steps to ensure that they can squeeze out a few more dollars from its students– by charging a fee to borrow money that the University already knows is coming.

I hope that the University will issue a second press release soon, clarifying whether they plan on refunding any credit card transaction fees to students who used their credit card as a way to bridge the gap between the due date and the disbursement date, or whether they will go a step further and fix the root of the problem.

Fixing the problem will guarantee that students who are waiting on aid to disburse will not be charged any kinds of fees, or have their classes dropped just because they aren’t rich enough to pay for the classes up front. After all, this is the whole reason they are waiting on the student loans in the first place.

John Schutze

[email protected]

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