Section: archive

College Adopts Online Statements

By Grace Hitzeman

Following in the footsteps of many peer institutions and other businesses, Kenyons billing process is heading into the 21st century with new digital student account statements. The College has switched to electronic invoicing for the convenience of students and parents and as a cost-saving measure, according to Todd Burson, assistant controller and director of special projects for the Accounting Office. He projected the switch will save the College about $15,000 a year on paper, envelopes and postage.

Initially, the College experienced some difficulties integrating its billing practices with its existing technology and software, which contributed to the delay in transitioning to electronic statements.

The Accounting Office will email a PDF version of a bill every month to each students Kenyon email account. Students who want bills sent to their parents email addresses as well will need to update the email addresses on their Personal Access Pages. They must follow a series of steps outlined in an email sent by the Accounting Office to accomplish this.

These steps ensure that the students control who gets that bill, Burson said. As of press time, about 300 students have updated their billing email addresses. Additionally, if somebody, such as a relative, who doesnt have an email account still wants to get that bill [the student] can contact us and we will still send them a paper bill, Burson said.

Along with the new emailed statements, the Accounting Office will also likely send any additional notifications via email.

Overall, student response has been positive. Mary Shannon 15 said the change makes billing in general more accessible, and Conrad Jacober 15 said, Thank the Lord! I like [the change] a lot.

Eventually, the Accounting Office plans to expand the online billing feature to a completely digital payment system. Currently, the office is looking at several options for online payment transactions. According to Burson, they will likely work with a third-party vendor that would host a payment site. Ideally, the College would offer multiple payment options including credit cards, Automated Clearing House and e-checks. Its a fairly simple process, Burson said. And thats the key: we want to make it simple for everybody. Burson expects the new payment system to be implemented by the end of the fiscal year, on June 30.

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