US Student Account Payments by Credit Card Subject to Convenience Fee in 2013
Payment on US-based Webster University student accounts via credit card will be subject to a 2.75 percent convenience fee, effective Jan. 3, 2013.
State laws and credit card contracts mandate this fee, which previously has been absorbed by the University. There are several other student bill payment options that are not subject to this fee, including payment by cash, check (paper or electronic), money order, financial aid, wires and electronic fund transfers. By no longer absorbing this fee charged by credit card companies, the University will save approximately $400,000 per year and allow for the creation of additional student employment opportunities.
We understand you may have questions concerning the implementation of this fee. Please refer to the resources on this page or contact the Bursar's Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a convenience fee?
The ‘convenience fee’ is simply that — it allows students the convenience of paying by credit card. State laws and credit card contracts mandate this fee, which previously has been absorbed by the University but will now be passed along to those paying via credit card.
Why is the University doing this?
The university has the opportunity to save approximately $400,000 per year by no longer absorbing credit card convenience fees. Plans are under way to use this savings to create additional student employment opportunities, and students can still pay their tuition through other methods that do not require a fee.
Which students and student accounts in Webster's international campus network are affected by these changes?
These changes are only applicable to students and parents paying on United States-based student accounts. This means that all students with home campus within the United States are affected by these changes, even if they are citizens or residents of another country.
I am taking online classes. How am I affected by this change?
Students with home campuses within the United States, the United Kingdom, and Thailand, as well as, all students that are enrolled as 100% on-line are billed for on-line courses in US currency via a United States-based student account. It is the United States-based student account that is impacted by these changes.
How can I pay so that I don’t incur the convenience fee?
There are several methods in which to pay your bills that do not involve convenience fees (see chart). Methods include: cash; paper checks; using financial aid; money orders; wires and electronic fund transfers; and electronic checks.
Can I pay using any credit card?
Only MasterCard, Discover and American Express will be initially accepted. However, Visa cards will be accepted later in 2013. Check your billing statement or this website for an announcement.
Where can I pay using a credit card?
Credit cards will no longer be accepted at the cashier window because credit card regulations do not allow a convenience fee to be assessed in a face-to-face environment.
Can I pay for anything on campus using my credit card without incurring a convenience fee?
Yes. The convenience fee for credit card use is only being charged for student or university accounts such as tuition and related fees such as room and board. Several other campus payment opportunities, such as bookstore purchases, donations, event purchases, food service, etc., may still be paid by credit card without being subject to a convenience fee.
How is the University implementing the convenience fee charge?
- Implementing a convenience fee charge structure requires that Webster outsource the majority of its credit card processing to a third-party vendor. Why? State laws and/or credit card contract stipulations restrict the University from differential pricing based upon payment methods. By outsourcing Internet credit card payments, the University maintains the flexibility of providing a “no convenience fee” option for Internet-based electronic check or debit payments. The University also eliminates the administrative burden of dealing with authorizations, charge-backs, reconciliation, and other card-related issues.
- Webster’s electronic statement and web payment partner, CashNet, currently offers SmartPay as a solution. SmartPay streamlines campus credit card payments in a secure, hosted online payment solution. CashNet is also responsible for compliance with all regulatory security standards and the expense of complex security assessments and audits attributable to card-based transactions.