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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Payment of Student Fees & Enrollment : 4:01:03:00

Policy/Guideline Area

Business and Finance Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is the establishment of Tennessee Board of Regents policy regarding the payment of student fees and enrollment of students.

Policy/Guideline

  1. Student Fees and Enrollment
    1. All assessed fees by an institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents are due and payable at the time of registration.
      1. An institution may implement deferred payment plans as may be allowed under a TBR guideline and as authorized for the student.
    2. An individual will be considered enrolled and counted as a student at a TBR institution when:
      1. all assessed fees have been paid (unless otherwise noted in policy); or
      2. the initial minimum payment due under any deferred payment plans has been paid; or
      3. an acceptable commitment from an agency or organization approved by the institution has been received by the institution.
    3. An individual shall possess an acceptable commitment when an application(s) for financial aid has been timely submitted with the reasonable probability of receiving such.
      1. Agencies or organizations which may be approved by the institution for purposes of making acceptable commitments for applicants shall be limited to agencies of the federal or state governments authorized to provide financial aid, established financial institutions within the state, established in-state and out-of-state corporations which employ the applicant, foreign embassies and foreign corporations, and other organizations within the state which have previously demonstrated the ability to pay the commitment.
      2. An acceptable commitment from an agency or organization shall be limited to a commitment which identifies the applicant and promises to pay all unpaid assessed fees for such applicant.
      3. No commitments from individuals will be accepted on behalf of applicants.
    4. Notwithstanding any other requirements in policy, there will be no record holds, enrollment holds, or purging of students for non-payment if the debt owed, whether current debt or prior debt, is less than $100.
    5. All outstanding debts and obligations of $100 or greater not evidenced by an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see Section IV) or a current semester deferred payment agreement must be fully satisfied by the 14th day purge of the semester.
    6. An individual will not be considered for admission/readmission as a student until all past due debts and obligations of $100 or greater incurred in prior academic terms, of whatever nature, have been paid, or the student , if allowable, has entered into an acceptable acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see Section IV) with the institution for the past due debts and obligations.
    7. When an individual tenders payment of fees by means of a personal check or credit card, the individual may be considered and counted as a student. If the payment is subsequently dishonored by the financial institution, and the payment is not redeemed in cash, the institution has the option to not consider that student as enrolled for the term.
      1. At the discretion of the institution, the student may be considered enrolled and will be assessed the applicable returned payment fee, the applicable late registration fee, and normal collection procedures as prescribed in TBR Guideline B-010 (Collection of Accounts Receivable) will be followed.
      2. Institutions may deny future check writing privileges to students who have paid registration fees with checks that are subsequently dishonored.
      3. While institutions have discretion in how these situations will be handled, all students must be treated the same at that institution.
      4. The institutions are authorized, subject to approval by the Board, to establish charges for late registration and/or payments which are returned dishonored, and such charges shall become assessed fees for purposes of admission.
  2. Records Holds
    1. Except as provided in sub-section II. B. hereof, institutions shall not issue diplomas, transcripts, certificates of credit or grade reports until the student involved has satisfied all debts or obligations of $100 or greater or the debts or obligations are evidenced by notes or other written contracts providing for future payment, such as, but not, limited to, loans authorized under federal or state education or student assistance acts. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree. Diplomas, transcripts, certificates of credit, and grade reports shall not be withheld for debts that are less than $100.
    2. The colleges in the college system of Tennessee shall issue a certificate of credit or official transcript for a student seeking admission to any college in the college system of Tennessee if the student has entered a written agreement (acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay) to satisfy the outstanding debt or obligation owed to the college issuing the certificate of credit or official transcript in the form of Exhibit 1 hereto.
      1. Any credit or official transcript issued under this subsection shall indicate that it is subject to an outstanding debt to the issuing college.
      2. The college receiving the certificate of credit or official transcript issued shall not subsequently issue a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript to that student until it receives proof that the student has satisfied the outstanding debt to the college that issued the certificate of credit or official transcript. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree.
  3. Enrollment Holds
    1. A student must pay any past due debts and obligations owed to the institution incurred in prior academic terms before being permitted to register at the institution unless the debt is less than $100, or an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see section IV) for the prior debt or obligation has been executed.
    2. Institutions shall allow enrollment when the outstanding obligation is less than $100.
      1. Additionally, all known debts and obligations to the institution incurred during the current term of $100 or greater must be satisfied prior to a student being allowed to pre-register for any future terms.
    3. An amount owed under the institution’s deferred payment plan for enrollment fees which is not yet due shall not cause an enrollment hold to be applied.
    4. A student that is currently assigned to a collection agency will be allowed to register if the student signs an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement in the form of Exhibit 1 hereto that acknowledges they will not receive a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript (except as provided in II. A and B Above) until the debt is paid in full. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree. The student account will not be recalled from the collection agency.
  4. Acknowledgement of Debt/Promise to Pay Agreement for Prior Debt and Obligations
    1. A student who has prior outstanding debt of $100 or more and was not enrolled in the preceding semester (excluding summer semester) may execute an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement with the institution.
      1. The acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement will require that the debt be fully satisfied before a diploma or degree will be issued. However, this does not prohibit the conferring of the degree.
      2. The acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement will require continuous enrollment.
        1. If continuous enrollment is not maintained the debt the institution may continue with immediate collection efforts as prescribed in TBR Guideline B-010 (Collection of Accounts Receivable) or pursuant to the terms of any previously executed repayment agreement.
      3. A student may only ever execute one such agreement with the institution.
      4. "Continuous enrollment" means a student is enrolled in the fall and spring semesters of a single academic year unless granted a medical or personal leave of absence. Allowable medical or personal reasons may include illness of the student; illness or death of an immediate family member; extreme financial hardship of the student or student’s immediate family; fulfillment of a religious commitment encouraged of members of that faith; fulfillment of required initial active duty for training as a National Guard or Reserve member or for National Guard or Reserve mobilization.
  5. Applicability of Fees
    1. In accordance with this policy, the president of an institution has the authority to determine the applicability of certain fees (as defined in Guideline B-060 Fees, Charges, Refunds and Fee Adjustments), fines, charges, and refunds, and to approve exceptions in instances of unusual circumstances. All such actions should be properly documented for auditing purposes.
  6. Exceptions
    1. The Chancellor or designee may approve exceptions to the requirements of this policy in appropriate circumstances.
    2. Requests for exceptions must be signed by the President and include sufficient justification documentation.

Exhibits

Sources

Authority: T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Public Chapter 739 of the Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, 2018

History:

TBR Meetings, June 20, 1975; September 30, 1983; June 24, 1988; June 29, 1990; June 21, 1996; December 8, 2006; December 4, 2008; June 21, 2013; March 30, 2016; June 22, 2018.