By Scott Lunte
As the result of a proposal from the Webster University Student Affairs Office, students who financially struggle will now have an easier time registering for classes.
On Tuesday, April 9, numerous undergraduate students who have yet to register for fall 2013 classes received an email from the Student Affairs Office. The email stated that students would be eligible to register if their Webster account balances are less than $1,500.
However, that $1500 debt policy is not a concrete, universal policy yet. The increased limit applies to financially struggling students on a case by case basis.
The current debt policy allows specific student exemptions from the $500 debt limit. Chief Financial Officer Greg Gunderson reiterated that students should talk to the Financial Aid Office or Student Affairs Office if they are struggling to pay off tuition and unable to register.
“If the student can show that there’s a legitimate plan under which they can pay off that debt, university staff can waive that debt limit,” Gunderson said.
In a recent article, The Journal reported that Webster University Student Affairs sent a proposal to Gunderson. The proposal would allow students to register for classes at a higher debt limit of $1,500 instead of the current $500 limit, which has been in place for seven years.
Arica Beckstead, freshman lighting design major, relies on her work-study position to pay off her tuition.
“(The $1,500 debt limit) would be a lot easier for me to register for classes,” Beckstead said. “And I won’t be wondering, ‘How am I going to get the money?’”
Freshman Emra Okanović is a commuter student who works two jobs. She said she barely makes the $500 debt limit prior to registration. Okanović added she welcomes the change of raising the debt limit to register for classes.
“It’ll just be a relief that I will not have to worry about it,” Okanović said. “I won’t feel like I’m being stretched too thin.”
Gunderson said in the previous Journal article that the change is being considered but would not take effect for another six months. Enrollment and recruitment were two major reasons the debt limit change is under consideration, Gunderson said.