Student loan regulations hinder registration

posted in: Opinion | 0

Registration is something all college students go through during the school year and for many, it can be a difficult process. With the different holds put on a student account by syndicates such as the business office, it can be very stressful for some students attempting to get into their desired classes.

At Pacific University the business office will put a student’s registration on hold if their student account shows more than $2,000 owed. For most students, this is not an issue because they have loans that pay off the debt placed on them by the university. However, some students attempt to pay off that debt while they are still in school, so as to avoid that $200,000 worth of student loan debt.

When the business office places a student’s registration on hold and they are unable to get the balance under $2,000, there are only a few options for that student in order for them to register.

“The easy way is to get the balance under $2,000,” business office employee Benjamin Bateman said. “Another way is to come to the business office and we can setup a payment plan with you, or maybe you can sign up for a Parent Plus loan or apply for a private loan from a bank.”

The Parent Plus loan is something the business office highly recommends and can be easily applied for. There is a federal website the parent of a student can go to in order to request the necessary funds. Getting the loan is based mostly off of credit eligibility.

If the parent does not have good credit, then typically they will be denied the loan. But according to the business office, if they are denied the Parent Plus loan, usually they will be able to receive extra federal financial aid. In certain cases, the business office can lift the hold if the office manager feels like the student has made a reasonable effort to pay it off and has a good payment history.

“If we come to an agreement where we understand they do not have the money now but you are making a good effort to pay it off, then we might remove the hold even if the balance is over $2,000,” Bateman said. “I mark everyone for a registration hold and then I let the business office manager review those holds case by case to see what they want to do. The manager would consider a good payment history and if you have shown that you are reliable, then that’s something that’s taken into consideration. It’s case by case so you never know.”

Although the business office claims that if you make a reasonable effort to pay your school bill they will usually be able to work with you, that’s not always the case. Since my time at Pacific, my goal has been to get through college with little to no student loan debt after graduation. This meant paying those bills out of pocket for my first three years.

Now in my junior year, I find my registration on hold due to an “outstanding balance” over $2,000, not allowing me to register for classes for my senior year. After talking with the business office, they said there was simply no way to lift the hold unless my balance was under $2,000.

Even though my family and I have payed Pacific nearly $50,000 out of our own pockets, the office still has my registration on hold. Should the business office take into account the fact that students, like myself, make payments with our own money as opposed to federal funds?


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