MIT Begins Conducting Student Billing OnlineBy Mike Rolish
MIT is phasing out paper student bills this spring as it transitions to MITPAY, a new electronic billing system that will go online on will go online on Feb. 19.
According to Sandra Chauncey, director of student accounts for Student Financial Services, only one copy of a student’s bill will be sent from February to June. The bill will be sent to students only; duplicate bills have been discontinued.
Starting in July, paper bills will be discontinued entirely, and all billing information will be presented online through MITPAY.
“Instead of getting a paper bill delivered to them at their residence, students will get an e-mail alerting them their bill is ready,” Chauncey said.
Students to control billing
Students will have to specify a different billing address on WebSIS if they want the bill to go somewhere other than their term address, including a parent’s residence. The next bill will be sent to that address on Feb. 13.
Students will access MITPAY through WebSIS, Chauncey said. They will have the option of specifying up to six additional people to access their financial records through the SFS web site. Currently, parents do not have access to student financial records via WebSIS.
“The students are in control,” Chauncey said.
MITPAY also will enable electronic payments via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, an electronic money transfer system, Chauncey said. “Currently, the only way we can take payments from students and their families is check, money order, or cash,” she said.
System to save on cost, hassle
“We looked at best practices at other universities. With electronic billing, service to students and their families increases dramatically,” Chauncey said.
“This is a customer service initiative,” said Cynthia Stanton, communications officer for Student Financial Services.
In addition, the Institute expects to save money by switching over to the new system. Chauncey cited envelope, paper, printing, banking, and labor costs that would not be required under MITPAY.
New system long in the making
MITPAY is the result of several years of effort by Student Financial Services, the Treasurer’s Office, and Information Systems and Technology.
Chauncey pointed out that most of the Big Ten and Ivy League schools already use similar systems.
“Many schools have started using it and are very happy with the result,” said Joanne M. Hallisey, senior project manager for Information Systems and Technology. Hallisey was the team coach for the Student eBill/ePay Discovery Project, which reviewed the project that eventually became MITPAY.
“The team really worked very had to make sure that they got recommendations from other schools that were using it,” Hallisey said. “Many schools have started using it and are very happy with the result.”
Further information about MITPAY and billing issues can be found at the Student Financial Services web site, http://web.mit.edu/sfs/.