AUSTIN, Texas—Efforts to defray the growing cost of providing electronic payment options at The University of Texas at Austin have resulted in the implementation of a new credit card policy to take effect April 21.
A 1.75 percent convenience charge on credit and debit card payments for tuition and mandatory fees will be assessed. The university also will change its payment options by no longer accepting Visa debit, credit and check cards and by adding Discover to the list of payment options, said Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer. Hegarty’s office has scheduled a public forum at 4:30 p.m., April 9, in the Texas Union Theatre to discuss the changes and receive comments from students and other university constituents.
“As a result of providing increasingly convenient electronic payment options, credit card use among students and parents has grown in recent years, resulting in substantial cost to the university,” said Hegarty. “The cost has grown to more than $2 million each year. In recognition of this increasing cost, during the last legislative session the Texas Education Code was amended to allow institutions of higher education to assess a convenience charge to those who use a credit card in making payments over electronic systems.”
This change will benefit the university and all of its students by reducing the university’s projected budget shortfall by nearly $2 million each year, Hegarty said.
There are four primary changes that result from the policy.
- Visa branded debit, credit and check cards no longer will be accepted for payments made through the “What I Owe” (WIO) Web site or through the Telephone Enrollment eXchange (TEX).
- Discover cards will be added as a payment option for payments made through WIO and TEX.
- A convenience charge of 1.75 percent will be added to all tuition and mandatory fee payments made using MasterCard or Discover cards, through WIO and TEX.
- The Bursar’s Office in Room 8 of the Main Building no longer will accept credit and debit card payments.
Hegarty said the university will continue to offer students and parents the option of avoiding the convenience charge by making payments by the use of Electronic Funds Transfer over the WIO Web site and TEX.
He said additional questions or concerns about the new payment options policy may be addressed online at the Convenience Charge Web site or by calling Student Accounts Receivable at 512-475-7777.
For more information contact: Kevin Hegarty, Office of Financial Affairs, 512-471-1422; Fred Friedrich, Office of Accounting, 512-471-3723; or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.