Paying money to pay money

Students now have to an additional fee if they pay with a credit card

A 2.75 percent convenience fee will now be charged on any credit card payment made toward a consolidated student account.

Business Operations Systems Manager, Erin Diehm, said the fee was approved by President Eisler and took effect on July 1. Ferris has contracted with Touchnet PayPath, a third-party company, to provide processing services for the consolidated student accounts. Diehm said Ferris could not continue to absorb processing costs due to budget constraints,

“There are large costs to process credit card fees,” said Diehm, “The university was looking at reducing costs and this was one that other schools used as well.”

A consolidated student account refers to a student’s tuition, room and board, parking and similar expenses. The account is billed to the student in the form of an ebill. The convenience fee will appear as a separate transaction on the credit card statement and will not appear on the E-bill or student account.

The processing fee is nonrefundable, even if the payment is cancelled, credited, or refunded. The fee is assessed no matter how large or small the payment is. Diehm said the 2.75 percent rate was set by Touchnet PayPath.

The convenience fee will be 2.75 percent of the payment amount. For example, a $1,000 payment will have a fee of $27.50. The minimum convenience fee allowed is $3. So if a payment of $60 is made, the convenience fee will be $3, even though 2.75 percent of $60 is $1.65.

According to the FSU Business Office web page, Ferris will accept MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards for payments on the consolidated student accounts. Visa will no longer be accepted as a form of payment because it uses a flat fee method and does not allow a pro-rata method, which is what the third-party company uses. A pro-rata method bases the processing fee on a percentage of the total payment amount, rather than a single, flat fee.

The FSU Business Office web page states explains that students can avoid the convenience fee by making payments online with an e-check, which is an electronic debit directly to a checking or savings account. The fee can also be avoided by paying with a check at the Timme Center.

Other Michigan schools that charge a convenience fee for credit card processing include Saginaw Valley State, Grand Valley State, Wayne State, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan.

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