Billing transferred to internet system

Eighty four percent of students have enrolled in D-Pay, Dartmouth’s new electronic billing system, according to Ronald Hiser, director of Student Financial Services. About 1,000 students have yet to register for the new system, which is designed for students at the College, the Thayer School of Engineering, the Tuck School of Business and Dartmouth Medical School.

D-Pay, which was instituted in April, allows families to view their Dartmouth bills online and submit and verify payments, Hiser said. Sixteen students reported electronic problems with the program, all of which were resolved last week, Hiser said. The problems originated in the set up of their accounts.

The program received excellent initial feedback, Hiser said, although some students who do not want to register for the program have recently submitted complaints.

“Now that we’re getting down to the folks who haven’t completed it, we’re getting more feedback from people who aren’t happy to be doing it,” Hiser said. “[They’re] just not interested in doing anything electronic, would prefer to stay with paper.”

Families that have opted not to use the D-Pay system have not informed Student Financial Services of their decision, Hiser said. Students will continue to be contacted via e-mail encouraging them to register.

International students can also view their bills immediately, but cannot pay through the program. Automated Clearing House, the electronic program that handles money transfers, only works with U.S. banks, Hiser said.

“They should be able to see it today instead of two weeks from now if it arrived at all to their home country,” Hisser said. “A lot of students had to go to their [Hinman Box] and then communicate with their families.”

The office has made exceptions for payers who have disabilities or who lack internet access, and will continue to send paper bills to them, Hiser said.

Laura Reynolds ’11 said that she and her parents registered for the program but are unsure what is expected of them.

“Every time I go on, it says the same amount is due,” Reynolds said. “I’m just sort of waiting to see if anything happens that I need to do something for.”

Other students have found the program more efficient than the paper system. Max Bickett ’11 said he previously had to transfer funds from his savings account to his checking account and write a check because Student Financial Services does not accept credit cards.

“Now it’s just more convenient,” Bickett said. “I can transfer it directly from my bank account and just pay online.”

Student Financial Services hopes to update the program to reflect daily activity. The site currently shows the amount due at the end of each billing cycle.

“You see whether the payment came in, if any of the financial aid dispersed or your aid award is changed,” Hiser said, referring to future plans for the system.

Students in the Class of 2012 will receive information regarding the online billing system once they have informed the College of their decision to enroll, Hiser said.

“I suspect it’ll be easier for them, because it’ll be in that packet and they’ll do it,” Hiser said. “It’ll be the way it is at Dartmouth. I think it’ll be harder for the people who have developed their system for doing the bill, whatever it is.”

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