Hundreds of students were dropped from their classes this semester because they did not pay their tuition and fees on time, but this number was significantly lower than a year ago.
University Controller Robert Barker said 830 students were dropped from classes for not making a payment by the July 24 deadline, compared with 1,780 in Spring 2005.
Of the 830 students, 467 re-enrolled by Aug. 25, Barker said.
Improved communication with students reduced the number who were dropped for lack of payment this semester, Barker said.
“The ability to communicate timely with students is the biggest issue,” said Barker. He also said “trying to communicate has been a real challenge” partly because some students do not check their mail or the university portal alerts regularly.
“Over the last 18 months we’ve really stepped up our effort (to communicate with students),” said Barker, with more e-mails and alerts through CSUN’s online portal system.
These e-mails and alerts have become “the primary source of communication to students,” said John Darakjy, assistant director of Financial and Tax Services, who said that many departments joined together to send e-mails and alerts.
Darakjy said his department “had a lot of communication with students,” which he said was a big reason for the drop in students not paying.
The most common excuses that students used when they missed the payment deadline were that they either did not know when the deadline was, or did not know the amount they had to pay, said Barker. He also said that because of the improvements in communication, both of these excuses were “hard to accept.”
On July 24 and the previous Friday there were long lines of students waiting to pay, said Juan Pastor, a 24-year-old senior who works at the information desk near University Cash Services.
The lines zigzagged inside Bayramian Hall and poured outside the building at times, but not everyone who showed up on the day of the deadline got to pay, said Pastor.
“The lines are cut off at 5 p.m.,” said Pastor. “Everyone is moved inside, and no one else is allowed to get in line.” He said students who showed up after 5 p.m. were turned away and dropped from their classes.
The number of people going through those lines can range from 1,200 to 2,000, because a lot of students wait until the last days before the deadline to pay, said Barker.
A week before the deadline there were more than 6,000 students who had not paid, which amounts to 40 percent of students, not counting students with financial aid, said Barker.
Darakjy said students who did not pay by the deadline were dropped from some or all of their classes the next day.
Whether students were dropped from some or all of their classes was determined by whether they made a partial payment totaling the amount for part-time status, or six units, said Darakjy.
A payment plan, in which the fees are broken down into three payments over the course of the semester, is another way that students can make a partial payment to stay enrolled in their classes, said Barker.
This semester, about 1,300 students took advantage of the payment plan, and they were able to keep all of their classes for the semester, said Barker.