BC to Discontinue Tuition Payments by Credit Card

BC to Discontinue Tuition Payments by Credit Card

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

In an effort to reduce costs and remain competitive with other universities, Boston College will no longer accept credit cards for payment of tuition, fees, room and board after May 31.

The University will offer alternate payment options, including a new electronic check feature that can be used to pay student accounts online.

BC administrators say the policy change was "carefully considered" for all the implications it would have on families who use credit cards to pay their Boston College bill.

"We understand that the elimination of credit cards for tuition payments will disappoint those who enjoy the convenience and benefits of paying by credit card," said Director of Student Services Louise Lonabocker. "But this will allow us to contain costs and thus better achieve our academic mission."

Credit cards will continue to be accepted for Eagle One Card accounts and bookstore purchases, she said.

Administrators cited the fees associated with credit card transactions as the reason for enacting the new policy.

"It's very expensive for us to pay 2 percent on transactions that amount to several thousands of dollars," said Controller Michael Driscoll. "There are alternative forms of payment, such as Internet-based transactions, that don't cost us nearly as much money."

The electronic check transaction is free of charge and is designed to quickly post changes to student accounts. BC will also offer qualified candidates loans with interest rates lower than those of credit cards.

Another option will be the 10-month payment plan now offered through Academic Management Services, one of the nation's largest providers of integrated payment solutions for higher education and private school tuition.

Administrators said few of Boston College's peer institutions still use credit cards as a payment option.

"Some schools stopped doing this years ago," said Lonabocker. "Most of them never even made this an option."

Lonabocker said some families have been disappointed in the news, but most accept the reasoning behind the change.

"People understand that ultimately it's best for us to reduce costs and they appreciate our efforts," she said.

The Financial Services staff can be reached Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ext.2-3388 or 800-877-3600.


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