- A. General Policies
- B. Definitions
- C. Deferrals
- D. Reduction of Liability
- E. Deliquency Policies
- F. Collection of Student Accounts
- G. Bankruptcy
A. General Policies
- In general, charges shall be due and payable by the first day of classes and students who have not satisfied tuition and fee obligations before the first day of classes are not considered registered and therefore, their “conditional” registrations (course selections) must be cancelled, unless an exception in this Manual otherwise applies. Those students will not appear on class rosters or enrollment records or in “Form A” reporting AND will not be permitted to attend classes.
- Charges that are incurred after the first day of classes shall be due when the charge is placed on the student’s account.
- The University will establish specific due dates for partial tuition amounts to be paid in advance of the first day of classes. Such advance payments are intended to ensure that every opportunity is provided for the required tuition and fee obligations to be completely satisfied on before the due date.
- Late fees may be imposed if the payments are not received by any applicable due date regardless of whether or not such due dates fall before the first day of classes. Students who do not satisfy their obligations are subject to having their course registration cancelled as of any missed due date.
- Please note that tuition and fee obligations may be satisfied with payments, financial aid, third party obligations, a tuition payment plan or any combination of these items.
- Students with unpaid or undeferred charges after specified due dates shall be subject to late fees and other consequences as provided as per policies under “Delinquency Policies” and “Collection Policies” below.
Registered student is defined as one who has (A) selected courses and been billed for these courses; and (B) satisfied tuition and fee obligations for the term as due.
Satisfied refers to a student’s meeting tuition and fee obligations to the University in a manner sufficient to maintain course registration, which may occur by any of the following: (A) payment by cash, check or credit card, (B) approved financial aid, deferrals; waivers, scholarships or third party receivables, or (C) any combination of (A) and (B). A student account may lose its status as being “satisfied” and may be declared delinquent due to failure of any receivable or future payment to be remitted to the University, or due to a change in the status of the student such that the student no longer qualifies for a previously granted deferral, waiver, or the like.
Liability refers to the amount of tuition or fees, which the student has not paid in full at the time of registration. All student receivables, third party receivables, and financial aid receivables are liabilities.
Student Receivables are monies owed for educational related University services. These receivables are considered to be valid as due and payable when established on the student’s account. Any disagreement by the student as to the validity of the student receivables must be made within 30 days of the charge. Receivables include tuition, fees and housing for approved students for the current fiscal year and is semester specific.
Third Party Receivables are funds expected to pay student educational expenses sometime in the future from a third party provider (other than governmental or private entities remitting financial aid monies as part of the college’s formal financial aid process, which is covered below in Financial Aid Receivables). Third party providers typically include, without limitation, governmental agencies such as the US Department of Defense, student employers, or Job Training and Placement Act service providers. Collection of third party receivables occurs during the semester the charges are incurred or the immediately following semester.
Financial Aid Receivables are funds expected to pay student educational expenses sometime in the future as part of the college’s formal financial aid process. These are estimates, which may change based upon enrollment and other factors and are various types of funds (e.g. loans, grants, scholarships) from various sources (e.g. federal, state, city, or college). Financial Aid Receivables include, without limitation, Pell Grants, State Scholarships, Grants, Fellowships, and NYS Tuition Assistance (TAP) awards.
Delinquency is a condition in which the student has not met all applicable financial and documentary obligations as in this Manual. An account is delinquent when payment or documentation is not received by the due date. Some examples are: non-payment of tuition, not completing required exit forms, etc.
Default is a condition in which no payment has been received within six (6) months of the due date. At this point, the account is generally placed with a professional collection and litigation service.
“Form A Reporting” is the census date for confirmed enrollment at CUNY.
Deferral is a temporary postponement of all or part of a student’s payment obligation beyond the date when full payment would otherwise be required. Campus procedures shall ensure the timely receipt of payments of any receivables on which deferrals are based. For students who have deferred outstanding charges, the deferral period should be for the shortest time period possible. Deferrals are categorized as either obligatory or discretionary on the part of the campus. A description of each follows in Section C.
1. Obligatory Deferrals
An obligatory deferral is required when a student’s charges are covered in full or in part, by certain scholarships, awards, grants, benefits, or approved time payment plans, and when the student can show proof of the coverage (satisfactory to the college Bursar or other designated college official) or program participation by the date payment would otherwise be required. Some examples of these deferrals are:
(a) Financial Aid
Students with proof, satisfactory to the Bursar or other designated campus official, of Financial Aid Receivables applicable to the upcoming semester shall be granted a deferral to the extent of such Financial Aid Receivables; any Student Receivables not covered by any approved Financial Aid Receivables shall be paid by the student by the applicable due date.
(b) Veterans Deferral Program
This deferral program generally allows student veterans to attend classes at CUNY and defer their tuition payments for a given semester (or summer session) until such time as the student’s veterans benefits are paid to CUNY by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information about the Veteran’s Deferral Program and the requirements for such tuition payment deferrals, please contact the CUNY Office for Veterans’ Affairs.
(c) Paying Tuition in Installments
- Students are permitted to enter into an agreement with a University-approved servicing agent to pre-pay tuition and fees due to CUNY. The contractor acts as a servicing agent for the University in collecting tuition and fees from students at each college.
- The funds collected by the servicing agent are remitted to the Office of the University Controller (OUC) on a bi-monthly basis. The students, or guardian, sign agreements with the servicing agent and, upon submission of a stipulated fee to the servicing agent, a prepayment plan is established whereby students make scheduled monthly payments to the servicing agent (not the University).
- The servicing agent (and not the college) is responsible for collecting fees from students who present the servicing agents with checks or ACH transfers with insufficient funds to pay. The servicing agent may assess late fee, in accordance with the terms of the Manual for students who do not meet their scheduled monthly payment dates.
- OUC will be responsible for remitting funds received from the servicing agent to CUCF.
- OUC will record all transactions involving the remitted funds in each college’s appropriate accounts. OUC will not separately account for tuition, student activity fees, and services fees. OUC will not transmit (return) any of the tuition and fees back to the colleges for: 1) student refunds as a result of a student’s failure to register or withdraw within the refund period, or 2) for payments to student associations for the student activity fees. Each college will be responsible for remitting funds to the student associations, and determine the amount of refunds and disbursement to students. The colleges’ disbursement of funds will be made from existing funds in their depository accounts. The colleges will make the appropriate accounting entries to reflect the above transactions.
- The colleges and OUC will receive monthly reports from the servicing agent that identify both the students and the amounts the students paid. The colleges will apply the payment data (student activity fee, consolidated services fee and tuition in that order) to individual students’ accounts based upon the servicing agent’s transmitted data.
- For accounting purposes, no entries to a student’s account will be made until either the college has completed registration and established a receivable from its billing, or after the first day of classes (when the student’s tuition and fee liability has been established).
2. Discretionary Deferrals
(a) University Hardship Deferral Program
The University’s Hardship Deferral Program allows a college to defer a portion of a student’s tuition liability until after the semester (session) has begun. The President, or his/her designee, at each college, will create and administer programs designed for students according to the following principles:
- No tuition deferment for any student shall be granted for a total tuition liability of less than the community college undergraduate resident part-time tuition rate per credit multiplied by six (6) credits.
- Student activity fees cannot be deferred.
- An initial payment determined by the college is required to classify the student as registered and enrolled
- Any student who is granted a hardship deferral must sign a Hardship Deferral Promissory Note for the amount of the deferred tuition. If the student does not meet the terms and conditions of the Promissory Note, a hold will be placed on his/her permanent records and the student remains liable for the balance due.
- The terms and conditions of the Promissory Note will include the following:
- A second payment of at least 50% of the remaining liability (deferred amount) is due 30 days after the first day of the semester or session.
- The third and final payment (of the remaining balance) is due 60 days after the first day of the semester or session.
- If a student defaults, at any time, on this Promissory Note, his/her account will be referred to the University’s collection agencies and all applicable late fees and related interest and collection costs will also apply.
- Any deviation from the recommended Hardship Deferral Program outlined above must be submitted to the University’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance for approval.
- A deferral may be authorized by the College president or his or her designee for extreme hardship of the student due to natural or other disasters.
D. Reduction of Liability
In some instances a student’s liability for tuition, fees and other Student Receivables may be reduced by the Bursar staff or other college designated official. Such a reduction of liability occurs when a student would otherwise owe the University tuition or other Student Receivables but such amounts due the University are reduced by virtue of the circumstances set forth below. Refunds to students for amounts having been paid to the University are covered by Section VI, Refunding of Tuition.
If applicable, refunds may not generally be granted for requests submitted after the college’s official census (Form “A”) date unless previously stipulated above. Non-attendance does not affect a student’s liability for tuition or other Student Receivables.
Reduction of liability, whether or not resulting in any refund, may be granted if any of the following conditions exist:
- A drop form (which may be a change of program form), signed by the student (or the equivalent within an on-line registration system) and accepted and date stamped by the Registrar upon receipt, is submitted. If the request for withdrawal is mailed, then the U.S. postmark date prevails. In the case of dropped courses, Bursars shall grant reductions in liability based on the same dates and tuition percentages as are applicable to tuition refunds (see Section VI, Refunding of Tuition).
- The college cancels Course(s) and the student’s program drops below 12 billable equivalent credits.
- The college, as a result of a change in a student’s academic standing, cancels a student’s registration. (For example, academically dismissed students who pre-registered during priority registration.)
- The college cancels a student’s registration upon committee recommendation (after academic review or due to disciplinary action).
- Withdrawal from course(s) to register at another unit of CUNY.
- Withdrawal from course(s) due to formal notification of military service during the semester, and a refund is requested, provided that the student does not qualify to receive an earned grade.
A degree student should not pay more than the full-time tuition rate in the applicable category regardless of the amount of tuition liability resulting from a combination of dropping and adding courses during the refund period. This limitation does not apply to any fees that may have been charged.
E. Delinquency Policies
- The Board has established the following policy with respect to the withholding of student records, which applies to students who have not satisfied financial or other regulatory obligations to the college, the University, or any State or Federal agency for which CUNY acts as a disbursing or certifying agent:
“Students who are delinquent and/or in default in any of their financial accounts with the college, the university or an appropriate state or federal agency for which the university acts as either a disbursing or certifying agent, and students who have not completed exit interviews as required by the federal Perkins Loan Program, the federal Family Education Loan Programs, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and the Nursing Student Loan Program, are not to be permitted to complete registration, or issued a copy of their grades, a transcript of academic record, certificate, or degree, nor are they to receive funds under the federal campus-based student assistance programs or the federal Pell Grant Program unless the designated officer, in exceptional hardship cases and consistent with federal and state regulations, waives in writing the application of this regulation.”
- Delinquency policies apply even if CUNY has inadvertently allowed the student to register.
- Some examples of conditions of delinquency are:
- Non-payment of tuition or fees on or before the applicable due date by any means outlined above;
- Non-completion of exit interviews required for the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Family Education Loan Program or the Federal Direct Loan Program(s);
- Any students who are delinquent and/or in default at the end of the semester or who have not met the terms and conditions of the hardship deferment procedures during the semester will not [be]:
- Issued copies of grades or transcripts of academic records;
- Permitted to register in the next semester; or
- Receive a certificate or degree; and
- Receive funds under the Federal campus-based aid or Federal Pell Grant Program.
- Students who are delinquent will have any existing registration for classes cancelled.
- In exceptional hardship cases and consistent with Federal and State regulations, the designated officer may waive, in writing, the application of the policy. The designated officer at the Law School, is the Dean of the Law School. The designated officer at the colleges is the President or his/her designee.
F. Collection of Student Accounts
The University or College, as applicable, will collect and maintain identifying information about all outstanding debts owed by the student, including date, amount, nature and due date of the charge.
All activity employed to collect these receivables must be documented, including the nature of the activity, such as letters sent, phone calls made, agreements and/or abrogation of such agreements, and the use of collection agencies or outside vendors to collect debts.
1. Collection Agency Placement
CUNY enters into contractual arrangements with specific collection agencies. These contracts for collection and litigation activity are negotiated and entered into by the Office of the University Controller and submitted to the New York State Department of Budget for approval. All contracts will include provisions for the imposition and collection late fees, collection fees, and all other fees due from student debtors.
2. Tax Offsets
Student accounts against which CUNY has received a final court judgment will be submitted to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DOTF) for the tax offset program and must meet all program requirements. Returned mail is to be marked on the student’s account, since notification for tax offset is required. Bursar’s offices shall remit all required information to OUC in order to effectuate the Tax Offset process for qualifying student debts.
In the event a student owing any debts to a college (a “student-debtor”) files a bankruptcy petition, the college must cease all collection activity for such debts while the bankruptcy proceeding is pending. During such time a college must provide an official transcript if requested by the student-debtor and permit the student-debtor to register for classes, provided that the student-debtor otherwise complies with applicable college and University requirements. The college must immediately notify the Office of University Controller of a student-debtor’s bankruptcy proceeding and must consult with the Office of General Counsel if special circumstances exist that may warrant additional legal action in the bankruptcy proceeding.
- The college may resume collection efforts, and may deny the student-debtor an official transcript and class registration, upon the closure of the student-debtor’s bankruptcy proceeding, unless the student-debtor’s college debts have been discharged in the proceeding.
- If the college debts have been discharged in the bankruptcy proceeding, the college may not resume collection efforts and the college must provide an official transcript if requested by the student-debtor and permit the student-debtor to register for classes, provided that the student-debtor otherwise complies with applicable college and University requirements.
- Student-debtors must provide written confirmation that a bankruptcy proceeding is pending or that any college debts have been discharged, such as copies of the applicable bankruptcy petition or order of discharge. If the student-debtor is unable to provide such documentation, and in all cases where a student-debtor asserts that college debts have been discharged, the college must immediately notify the Office of General Counsel.
- Colleges should note that, in general, student loans, educational benefits overpayments, and obligations to repay funds received as an educational benefit, scholarship, or stipend are exceptions to discharge under Federal bankruptcy law and are presumed to be non-dischargeable. A bankruptcy court may require a student-debtor to institute an adversary proceeding to determine whether such debts may be discharged. Colleges must immediately notify the Office of General Counsel of any such adversary proceedings, and also provide copies of the related summons and complaint upon receipt.
- Colleges must otherwise contact the Office of General Counsel if any circumstances arise that are not contemplated in this section.