Next week students will be able to register for classes with a higher unpaid balance after Webster University changed its student account policies.
The changes, effective Oct. 25, tripled the maximum amount of unpaid balances, which triggers a registration hold on accounts, from $500 to $1,500.
Bursar Jody Paterson said the change was made to give students more time to work with financial aid counselors to address financial issues and avoid future issues. Holds will be implemented once an account has a past due balance of more than $1,500.
Paterson said students will be able to register for current term or future term classes as long as their account balance is below $1,500. She said transcripts and diplomas will still be unavailable to students with a balance.
“It was an institutional decision, made for multiple reasons,” Paterson said. “Sometimes students just need a little bit of extra time to address short-term financial issues.”
Account holds will be implemented on accounts earlier in the semester to give students time to take care of account issues, Paterson said.
“It gives students a little bit of additional notice so that they have more time before registration starts for the next semester to make sure they’ve done everything they need to do,” Paterson said.
Paterson said the extra time will give students a chance to fill out forms for financial aid and sponsorships.
In the spring, the university increased the limit for financially struggling students on a case by case basis. But it was not official university policy at the time.