The purpose of this policy is to explain students' responsibilities for bill payment, procedures for doing so, and penalties for failing to pay.
Student Billing Requirement and Dates
Students who register for courses at the College are responsible for payment of all charges for which they are billed. Billing and payment due dates are as follow:
- Fall semester e-billing reminders are sent on or about July 1, with payment due August 1.
- Spring semester e-billing reminders are sent on or about December 1, with payment due January 5.
Before registering for classes at Hampshire College, students will be required to read and accept a financial agreement as follows:
"I understand that I am registering for these courses and am responsible for paying all tuition, fees, and other charges on my student account by the due date. I understand that if my account becomes delinquent I will be responsible to pay the College past due amounts plus all late fees assessed. I further understand that I shall be responsible for, and I hereby agree to pay, all collection agency fees and attorneys’ fees that the College may incur to collect any unpaid balance on my student account, which may be based on a percentage of the delinquent account balance (to a maximum of 35 percent of the delinquent account balance)."
Hampshire College offers an opportunity for students, or their parents, to pay tuition bills throughout the year, rather than in one payment due before classes begin each semester. The College uses a third-party provider, Tuition Management Systems (TMS), to manage these plans. TMS provides its own payment schedule. Students interested in establishing a payment plan to pay their bills can review the plan options. TMS contracts are for the current academic year only and cannot be used to pay previous semester balances.
If a student, or parent, misses two consecutive payments to TMS, the College will cancel the payment plan and take over responsibility for collecting the amount owed. Upon the cancellation of the payment plan, the College will commence charging a late fee of 1.25% of the outstanding balance (see Penalties For Active Students). This late fee will be compounded monthly. In addition, these students will be prohibited from using the TMS payment plan in future semesters.
Loan and Other Financing Opportunities
Students should contact student financial aid with questions about their financial aid packages or for loan application information. Students interested in loans and other financing options to pay their bills can review their options. The College can assist with determining if additional federal and/or state funds may be available due to a change in financial need; however, no additional College support is available. Failure to complete all paperwork required by the student financial aid office will delay the release of funds, resulting in late charges being assessed and additional penalties (see Penalties For Active Students).
Student accounts will make three attempts to contact an enrolled student with balance due. The student will be contacted via email and/or telephone so that payment options can be reviewed. Failure to respond to student accounts attempts to contact a student will be considered a default and penalties will be applied (as described in the following section).
Penalties for Active Students
Penalties are applied when payments have not been received by the College's due date and/or TMS's due dates according to an approved payment plan. The following penalties apply to outstanding balances:
The College charges a late fee of 1.25% of the outstanding balance for failure to pay by the billing due date (August 1 for fall semester and January 2 for spring semester), or as prescribed by TMS's payment policy. This late fee will be compounded monthly.
Students who owe $500 or greater will not be allowed to:
- Register for the following semester's classes during the re-registration periods in November (January and spring terms) and April (fall term),
- Participate in the spring housing lottery beginning in late April,
- Request academic transcripts, or
- Participate in field study, leave exchange or other off-campus programs.
Other Penalties for Graduates or Inactive Students
Graduates and other students who leave the College owing balances are subject to a late fee of 1.25% of the outstanding balance, compounded monthly, and the following additional penalties:
- Graduates will not receive their diplomas until their balance is paid in full.
- Graduates, and other students, will not be able to request transcripts until their balance is paid in full.
In addition, any refunds due to the student based on the College's refund schedule will be deducted from the balance owed.
Previously separated students re-applying for admission must have a previous outstanding balance paid in full by April 1 for fall and November 1 for spring re-admittance.
When a former student fails to pay an outstanding bill, three letters requesting payment will be sent to the last known address of the student. Failure to respond will result in the student's account being referred to a collection agency.