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Intellect

BYU announces new payment options

For tuition and fees, insurance premiums and BYU-sponsored loans

In an effort to save more than $1 million, Brigham Young University recently announced important changes to its payment program for tuition and fees, insurance premiums and BYU-sponsored loans. These changes will be in effect for Winter Semester 2006.

In 2005 BYU will pay more than $900,000 in credit card fees for tuition and insurance premiums. These fees are estimated to exceed $1 million for the 2006 school year, said University Treasurer Richard White.

Students will have the option of paying their tuition with a MasterCard, American Express or Discover card, although a service charge will be assessed by a third-party credit card processor. Students will not be able to pay with Visa, because Visa chooses not to participate in these programs.

Students who have enjoyed the ease of paying online or over the telephone, will still be able to do so, says White, through a free electronic check option. Additionally, students have the option of paying with a paper check.

All three options are further clarified below:

1. eCheck: eCheck is a free electronic check option used for making payments online or over the telephone. eCheck uses a secure web transmission to electronically deduct payments directly from a checking or savings account.

2. Credit card (only available online) with a 2.75 percent service charge: Credit card payments may be made online using American Express, Discover and MasterCard. This payment option is only available online and cannot be used to make payments in person or over the telephone. BYU has arranged with a third party to process these payments. The third party charges a service fee equal to 2.75 percent of the transaction amount. Visa is not accepted because its operating rules prevent participation in service charge programs of this type.

3. Paper check: Students may continue to use paper checks to make tuition payments by mail or in person.

White notes that if all students will use the free electronic check option, both the students and the university will avoid unnecessary costs.

For those who may use a credit-card payment as a form of a loan, Paul Conrad, financial aid director at BYU, says there are other less-costly options. "We invite students and their parents to contact us for information about available funding programs, to learn about the application process and to identify appropriate funding strategies to meet college expenses. In addition to federal financial aid, institutional loans are available to assist students in meeting their tuition expenses."

White points out, however, that all other BYU locations that currently accept credit card payments will continue to accept credit cards, including Visa, without a service charge (i.e. Housing, Health Center, Traffic, Bookstore, Dining Services, Continuing Education programs, etc.).

Information about tuition and fees, insurance premiums and BYU-sponsored loan payments can be found at payments.byu.edu beginning Oct. 13.

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