At the beginning of this spring semester, there has been an increase in the number of students dropped from classes for failing to pay tuition on time.
In total, 389 USF undergraduate and graduate students were dropped out of roughly 8,200 that make up the student body, according to Susan Murphy, USF’s senior associate dean and director.
Before the beginning of this spring semester, USF sent out an e-mail to all students via USF Connect saying that, while USF is experiencing some financial hardships, “it will not affect the student experience.”
Many students are arguing that USF has gone back on their word, by taking on a new policy of dropping students at the beginning of the semester rather than giving students time to pay, thus affecting the student experience on campus.
According to Murphy, however, this policy has always been in place and that, while USF has been “fairly generous” with students in the past, the school can no longer afford to do that.
USF only dropped students who owed $10,000 or more in tuition and, even in such a case, were still willing to work with students who contacted USF to let the school know about their financial situation.
USF also reached out to students by sending another e-mail via USF connect asking professors and students to let the school know if they or anyone they knew were contemplating leaving USF for financial reasons.
Murphy said that students need to contact USF, upon which the school would set up a payment plan for students to pay their tuition over a four month period.
The Foghorn believes this to be the case, as several students confirmed that they did contact USF and are now on a payment plan.
Those students have remained enrolled and are taking classes this spring semester.
It appears as though USF is trying to do everything possible to ensure that students can remain in classes even if they are facing financial difficulties.
It is understandable that both students and universities are having financial problems considering the current state of our country’s economy.
We need to work together in order to prevent as much disruption in our every day college experience as possible.
It is reasonable for USF to ask students to contact them if they are having trouble paying tuition. In some circumstances, USF has come up with money to help pay for students’ classes.
We should be thankful for and take advantage of the fact that USF does not heavily rely on state or federal government money to keep the school running.
If that were the case, we would be struggling even more so just as many other public universities are in California and around the country.
USF is heavily funded by private donors, and while we have seen a decrease in the money we are receiving, our situation is enviable compared to that of other schools.
USF is still willing to try to help students who are struggling to pay their tuition, and for this the staff of The Foghorn is grateful. We know that we are facing serious economic challenges and that the USF administration will continue to be forced to make tough decisions on budgeting.
If you have any financial concerns, please contact the OneStop Office at 415-422-2020, visit their website at http://www.usfca.edu/acadserv/academic/onestop/onestop.html, or visit their office on Lone Mountain.