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Bursar’s Office makes changes to refund policy

By JESSICA PATTERSON
On April 25, 2013

The Office of the Bursar is changing the refund policy in an attempt to keep tuition affordable for students. Bob Collier, assistant director of student financial systems at Marshall University, said the refund policy for tuition and fees will change effective with the fall 2013 semester.“After the schedule adjustment period, you will not be able to get a refund if you drop to a part-time status,” Collier said. “If you totally withdraw, the refund schedule has not changed. It is still the same refund schedule that we have now.”Barry Beckett, bursar and director of financial systems said the refund policy change will not affect the schedule adjustment period, which is the first week of classes for the spring and fall semesters and the first day of classes in the summer terms, or the amount of time in which students receive the refunds.“If students drop below full-time during the schedule adjustment period, they will still get a refund,” Beckett said. “There should not be any variation in the time we get the refund to the student.”Collier said the policy already includes no refund for students who drop a class but stay full-time.Beckett said the change is meant to help keep tuition rates down for students.“When we looked at tuition and fees and how we could try to hold those down, we did an analysis of if we change the policy the university is going to save about $750,000 annually,” Beckett said. “In doing that, it is going to assist us in maintaining fees at a lower cost. That’s one of the main reasons we looked at it.”Collier said the plan should also improve student retention.“We’re trying to make it more beneficial for the student to register as a full-time student, keep that registration and graduate on track without dropping classes,” Collier said.Becket said he thinks the policy will be helpful to the university as well.“I think it’s a positive step for the university,” Beckett said. “We actually went out and looked at some other colleges in the state and this is similar to their refund policies. We’re more consistent now with the other schools in the state.”Beckett said the Board of Governors approved the policy change in 2012, but the office chose not to put it into effect until fall 2013.“The time window was too small,” Beckett said. “That’s why we’re starting now in April to give everyone the benefit of communication that we’ll implement it in the fall.”Letters from the Office of the Bursar were sent out to the families of Marshall students to create awareness of the change.Jessica Patterson can be contacted at patterson73@marshall.edu. 

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