NORWICH OFFERS ONLINE BILL PAYMENT OPTION

Thanks to the new NUpay system, electronic billing and online payments are now available to Norwich students and their designated family members and guests.

Norwich University Controller Lauren Wobby explained that NUpay, which became available on March 9, was the result of months of preparation.

"Approximately a year ago we were faced with a challenge," Wobby said. "The projected growth of the Online Graduate Programs meant that we had to have adequate staff to handle student billing and collection. The question was, how many, and when? At the same time, we lost our ability to process credit cards over the web, so we were back to doing it by hand. At a time when we needed to be more productive, we were, in fact, less."

Last summer the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), with the help of President and CEO Don Vickers, offered a seminar in Burlington for all Vermont colleges to demonstrate a system for online payments. VSAC has 65,000 borrows either from the state of Vermont or who attend Vermont schools; and they are working to increase efficiency by having more of these students pay online.

Four Norwich representatives attended the seminar and learned about VSAC's system, which is administered by a company called infiNET Solutions, in Chicago.

"VSAC offered to provide this service free of charge for five years," Wobby said. "We were very impressed, and came back to Norwich to see how we could take advantage of this wonderful opportunity."

After deciding that it would be a good system for the University to adopt, a project team was formed last fall to conduct internal background work. With the help of Computer Services, NUpay officially kicked off in early January, and six weeks later went live at Norwich.

"NUPay allows a student or person of interest (parent, relative or friend) the ability to receive bills and make tuition and fees payments electronically," Wobby said.

Although in a slightly different format, the electronic bill (eBill) is the same bill received through the mail. The eBill shows account activity and balance status as of the billing date. Payments made using NUpay will show up as a credit on the next eBill. An added bonus of the NUpay eBill is an 18 month account history available to students and authorized payers. Authorized payers will only see payments they have made on the student account, but the student will be able to see all account activity for the previous 18 months.

There are two options for NUpay online payments. Authorized payers and guests can use a credit card to make a payment for any charge that appears on a student account. Payments can also be made by electronic check (debit), from any checking account, provided that it is with a US bank and in US dollars.

Wobby said that interest in this online billing and payment option is growing with the undergraduate population as the news gets out about NUpay.

"People like the idea that, with NUpay, we are essentially open 24 hours a day to do business," Wobby said.

For more information about NUpay, visit www.norwich.edu/bursar or call (802)485-2737.