Frequently Asked Questions About Paying Your Bill
Is there a fee to pay my bill?
There is a service fee if you pay by credit card. The fee is 2.75% of the amount being paid and is added to your credit card. A minimum fee of $1.00 applies. There is no service fee if you choose to pay online by electronic check (ACH). There is also no service fee if you send a check by mail or pay at an enrollment center by cash (only Fall River accepts cash), check or money order.
Why is the fee charged?
In reviewing the costs of credit card usage, we have found that credit card fees have increased dramatically in the last several years. These costs must be accounted for in the Bristol Community College budget. This change will benefit Bristol Community College and students by enabling the college to allocate the savings to other areas in critical need of funding.
Bristol Community College is partnering with Nelnet Campus Commerce to offer online payments. The service fee covers the cost of processing the payment transaction, security compliance and certification requirements that ensure the protection of sensitive and personal consumer data.
We are consistently working to keep costs down while maintaining high-quality programs and services. While credit card payments are a convenient way to pay your tuition and fee bill, the cost to provide this convenience has grown substantially. This change allows us to reduce costs while continuing to provide a variety of payment options to meet your needs.
Are there alternative payments methods that will allow me to avoid paying this service fee?
There are no service fees for payments made by cash, money order, check or E-check.
To pay online by E-check, select the ACH payment method. Simply enter your bank account routing number and account number in the fields provided. This payment method is free of charge. Although it cost the College $1.50 per e-check processed, we will not pass on this fee to our students and the college will absorb this fee in order to offer our students the option of choosing this fee-free alternative to credit card payments.
NOTE: If your E-check is rejected due to insufficient funds in your account, it will be treated like a bounced check. A $10 returned check fee will apply for each insufficient funds e-check processed.
Is Bristol Community College the only college/university/company contracting with a third-party processor that charges service fees?
No, the changes in the credit payment structure are similar to those that have been adopted by many entities across the country where online credit card payments are made available through a third-party processor who assesses a service fee for processing the payment. The service fee goes directly to the third-party processor to cover the fees charged by the credit card companies. Bristol Community College does not keep any of these fees.
Who is the third party provider?
Bristol Community College has contracted with Nelnet Campus Commerce, a trusted third-party payments processing processor for colleges and universities. Nelnet Campus Commerce maintains PCI-DSS Level 1 certification as well as NACHA, FERPA, and GLB compliance.
Would it be more beneficial for me to accept a student loan, if I am eligible?
Bristol Community College strongly urges our students to give careful thought, consideration, and budget planning before paying your bill with a credit card, especially if you plan to only make your minimum monthly payment toward your credit card bill. It is always wise to only use credit cards when you know you will be able to pay the balance in full before accruing high interest charges and/or late penalties.
Avoid long-term, high-interest debt whenever possible. If you’ve been offered student educational loans, such as Direct Loans awarded through our Financial Aid Office, we urge you to weigh options and compare interest rates before paying your tuition and fee charges with a credit card. Student loan interest rates are typically much lower than credit card interest rates. Check with our Financial Aid Office to obtain the latest student loan interest rates and repayment periods.
Keep in mind: if you are eligible for student loans, in order to defer payment of your tuition and fee payment while your loan is in process, you must:
- Be officially offered the loans by our Financial Aid Office,
- Accept them on or prior to the due date of your bill; and,
- Be awarded enough loan funds to cover your entire account balance.
Otherwise, you must pay in full the amount not covered by student loans by the due date, regardless of the payment method you choose.