FORT SMITH, Ark. (TB&P) — A new University of Arkansas at Fort Smith policy to drop students for nonpayment is meant to help students and their financial health, not to penalize anyone. Dr. Terisa Riley, UAFS chancellor, explained the policy and recapped how it worked during her first meeting with the UAFS Board of Visitors Wednesday (Sept. 18).
Though UAFS did drop students for nonpayment in the past, the practice has not been used for many years, said Dr. Brad Sheriff, vice chancellor of finance and administration. UAFS decided to reinstate the practice in hopes of helping students avoid a debt that keeps them from continuing their schooling and to free up unused seats in a class, Riley said.
The policy has three drop dates — one week before the first day of class, the Friday before classes start and at the end of the first week of class. With the policy, students who have not paid for the semester prior to the start of the semester or who have not set up a payment schedule or plan are dropped from the school. Students who are able to secure funding or set up a payment plan can reregister for classes, Riley said.
“Students who are enrolled and in classes, whether they show up for classes or not, will owe the institution money. If student have registered for classes but they do not show up and they have already applied for federal aid, that federal money has to be returned and (the student) ends up owing the institution,” Riley said.
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