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The Daily Tar Heel

New tuition payment system in gear

When students go online to pay tuition for fall semester, they will use a new student financials section of ConnectCarolina.

The new student billing system includes a billing template that has students’ estimated financial aid and a simpler process to grant and revoke access to third parties, including parents.

The change was made earlier this summer as part of an expansion of the University’s partnership with TouchNet — a company that designs business software for higher education institutions.

The new system allows for expanded payment options. In addition to MasterCard, payments can now be made with Discover and American Express.

“Credit card payments for student bills have been processed via the TouchNet payment gateway since we started using ConnectCarolina for student financials,” said Debra Beller, a communications specialist with Information Technology Services.

“The change is that bill presentment is now through TouchNet as well.”

Beller said students and parent representatives approved the system before its implementation.
“I think it’s a great change,” said junior Justin Reid.

“It makes it much easier to plan your finances for the semester by being able to see all of the fees for the semester on one page,” he said.

The update will require students to reauthorize third party proxies, such as parents. Proxies authorized prior to the change will no longer be valid.

An email will be sent to third parties with directions to access the account.

Third parties can access the account through a link on cashier.unc.edu.

Students can have up to five active third party accounts at a time. Emails will be sent to proxies when the bill is ready, a feature that Beller said will be beneficial to parents.

Students will also have to re-sign up for direct deposit on the eRefunds page.

“I like the eRefunds page in the (new system) better,” said junior Lindsay Foti.

“It looks self-explanatory and easy to use.”

DeAhn Baucom, director of student accounts and university receivables, said that as of Monday, 1,350 students had set up new direct deposit accounts and that more than 3,500 users have been authorized.

“We have seen thousands of students doing this over the last day or two with nary a complaint,” Beller said

“It is really quite user friendly.”

The new system cost the University almost $85,000, including a $59,000 hosting fee and a $25,800 one-time fee for implementation and training.

Beller said that additional charges were waived due to the University’s relationship with TouchNet. The University renewed its five year agreement with TouchNet in August 2011.

According to the cashier’s website, tuition for fall 2012 is $3,845.14 for North Carolina residents and $14,221.14 for out-of-state students.

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Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.