Credit Control Policy

Introduction

This policy describes the actions which Staffordshire University will take and the timeframe within which these actions will be taken, to secure the prompt payment of invoices raised by the University. The University is responsible for the collection of income from a variety of different sources and the Credit Control Policy describes the actions which will be taken to secure payment from each of these sources. 

2 General Points

a) The Financial Services section will communicate with students through individual University email accounts and personal email accounts where supplied. 

b) The actions outlined below will be suspended if, at any time during these procedures, an account is disputed. 

3 Tuition Fees: Student Responsibility

Tuition fees are payable in full, at enrolment or within 28 days of an invoice being issued, unless acceptable instalment arrangements have been agreed.

a) If you are responsible for payment of your own tuition fees and your tuition fees are more than £520.00, you are eligible to pay by instalments, details of which are shown in the tables, below. 

Instalment Dates 2017/18

 Home and EU Undergraduate   At Enrolment*  Instalment 1 = 33%   Instalment 2 = 33%
Students starting in semester 134%10th January 2018  11th April 2018
Students starting in semester 2 34% 11th April 2018 6th June 2018 
Students starting in semester 3 34% 6th June 2018  3rd October 2018

 

International Students (except Distance Learning)Deposit Prior to enrolmentInstalment 1 – At enrolment Instalment 2 = final 50%
Students starting in semester 1£3500.00Make up to 50% of fees payable 30th November 2017
Students starting in semester 2 £3500.00 Make up to 50% of fees payable 30th April 2018
Students starting in semester 3 £3500.00Make up to 50% of fees payable       6th June 2018

 

International Distance Learning StudentsAt EnrolmentInstalment 1 = 33% Instalment 2 = 33%
Students starting in semester 134%10th January 201811th April 2018
Students starting in semester 2 34% 11th April 2018 6th June 2018 
Students starting in semester 3 34% 6th June 20183rd October 2018

 
 Home and EU Postgraduate At Enrolment*  Instalment 1 = 33%   Instalment 2 = 33%
Students starting in semester 134%7th February 2018 2nd May 2018
Students starting in semester 2 34% 6th June 2017 5th September 2018
Students starting in semester 3 34%5th September 2018   5th December 2018

  *Payment is due at enrolment except when the student chooses an option to advise of funding from SFE, in which case the instalment is due as soon as funding is received. In the case when no funding is available the first instalment will become due when such notification is received.

b) Instalments will be taken by recurring credit/debit card payments using details lodged during enrolment or via the University payment portal. Students who do not wish to pay by this method must contact Financial Services in writing. Failure to pay instalments on the dates below may lead to exclusion from the University

c) Students who withdraw or intermit from their studies may be required to pay a proportion of the tuition fees dependent upon the date formal notification of the withdrawal or intermission is received by the University. Failure to formally notify the university, in writing, of withdrawal or intermission will result in a continuing liability for tuition fees until such time as notification is received. Retrospective withdrawals will not be permitted.

d) Students who formally withdraw or intermit within the first two weeks, including induction week, of the published start date of the award will not incur any tuition fee liability. Withdrawals and intermissions after the first two weeks will incur a tuition fee liability based on the tables below, even if the student has not taken the opportunity to attend or engage with the course:

Undergraduate Students

Date of withdrawal Fee Liability
On or before 7 January 2018 25% of tuition fee
On or after 8 January & before 7 April 2018 50% of tuition fee
On or after 8 April 2018100% of tuition fee

 Full Time Taught Postgraduate students

Date of withdrawal Fee Liability
During Postgraduate Certificate Stage 45% of tuition fee
During Postgraduate Diploma Stage 45% of tuition fee
During Postgraduate Masters Stage 90% of tuition fee

Students studying on other full time postgraduate courses, such as postgraduate Certificates or Diplomas will be charged the full fee for all the modules or the proportion of the course that they have commenced.

Students studying on postgraduate research degrees e,g, MPhil and PhD will be charged their annual fee, pro rata over 52 weeks up to the date of withdrawal.

Students studying on part time taught postgraduate courses will be charged the full fee for all the modules that they have commenced.

4. Tuition Fees: Employer or Organisation Sponsored

Fees may be paid by a third-party sponsor acceptable to the University, when they have agreed, in writing, to accept responsibility for payment of the tuition fees.  Home/EU students are expected to provide a valid purchase order from their sponsor for each academic year of their award prior to enrolment. Purchase Orders can be sent to:  Financial Services, Trent Building, Leek Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DDF or uploaded into the student portal.  Overseas Tier 4 students may only be sponsored by Official Financial Sponsors i.e. Government Organisations and not private individuals. Overseas students are required to provide an official letter on stamped and dated headed paper from the sponsoring organisation. This should be uploaded to the student portal prior to enrolment and must include sponsor details, student name, and length of the sponsorship and the exact value of the sponsorship available.  However, the responsibility for payment of tuition fees lies with the student and they should ensure their sponsors pay their fees in a timely manner.

5 Tuition Fees - Student Finance England / Local Authority Sponsored

Student Finance England (Student Loan Company), Scottish Awards Agency, Student Finance Wales and Local Authorities will only pay fees for students who have applied for a tuition fee loan and whose attendance has been confirmed by the University at the various census points during the year. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that application forms are completed correctly, in a timely manner and they must respond immediately to any requests for further information that may prevent their application from being processed. Failure to complete the forms correctly may result in the application being declined. Students are also responsible for ensuring they sign and return declaration forms to Student Finance, failing to do so may result and loan payments not being made. Students remain liable to pay any proportion of fees not covered by a tuition fee loan or grant and will be invoiced accordingly. It is important to remember that these funding bodies are independent to the University and therefore we do not have access to your application.

6. Credit Control Procedures – Home & EU Students

Any student experiencing financial difficulty in paying fees or any charges due to the University should seek help at the earliest opportunity. The University will be sympathetic and assist where it can. However in order to maintain quality of provision the University must act to recover debts.

 Initially, contact Financial Services to discuss arrangements for payment on 01785 353383 or by email to income@staffs.ac.uk and/or seek advice from the Students’ Union Advice Centre located in the Students’ Union (Tel: 01782 294469).  Alternatively students can speak to a Student Guidance Officer. Either the Students’ Union or the Student Guidance Officers will be able to advise on possible eligibility to apply to the Staffordshire University Hardship Fund.


a) Accounts will become due on the dates specified on invoices issued by Financial Services

b) Where an account remains overdue after this date, a minimum of two letters will be sent by email to the student’s University email account and personal email accounts where supplied.

c) The University may refer all outstanding accounts for tuition fees to its external debt recovery agents for appropriate legal action to recover the debt. This may incur additional charges being added to the account and ultimately affect the ability to obtain credit in the future.

d) If a tuition fee debt is outstanding coursework, examination and other assessments will not be considered by Award Boards. If the debt is settled after the Award Board results will not be considered until the next available Award Board. This may affect the student’s ability to progress to the next level of their course. If the debt remains outstanding at the end of the academic year, the student will not be allowed to graduate or re-enrol at the University until the account is cleared.

e) Where a student has made an agreement to pay their tuition fee account by instalments but has defaulted; then these credit control procedures will commence  immediately after the initial default whereby the whole debt with then be due in full.

f) The University may exclude students who have unpaid tuition fee debts. Exclusion means students will be unable to attend any further lectures or tutorials; submit work for assessment; use the University’s learning resource facilities; sit examinations or reside in University controlled accommodation.

7. Credit Control Procedures - International Students

Accounts will become due on the dates specified on invoices issued by the University.

b) Where an account remains overdue after this date, a reminder letter will be sent by email to the student’s email account and personal email accounts where supplied. The University’s Immigration Compliance Officer will be notified of the tuition fee debt and they will also attempt to make contact with the student to resolve the situation.

c) The University will refer all outstanding accounts for tuition fees to its external debt recovery agents for appropriate legal action to recover the debt. This may incur additional charges being added to the account

d) The University may exclude students who have unpaid tuition fee debts. Exclusion means students be will unable to attend any further lectures or tutorials; submit work for assessment; use the University’s learning resource facilities; sit examinations or reside in University controlled accommodation.

e) The University will withdraw the sponsorship of any student admitted to the University on a Tier 4 visa and report this to UK Visas and Immigration. The student will then be required to leave the country and return home. Students should refer also to Tier 4 Sponsor Policy (PDF, file size: 168.58KB)

 

8. Credit Control: Employer or Organisation Sponsored

a) Accounts will become due 28 calendar days after the date on which the invoice is raised. 

b) If the account becomes overdue, two credit control letters will be sent to the organisation, and credit control will make contact by telephone..  Should the account remain outstanding, the University will refer the account to its solicitors for appropriate legal action to recover the debt.

c) In the event of non-payment by the employer or organisation sponsor the University reserves the right to invoice the student directly for the fees.

9. Credit Control - Student Finance England / Local Authority Sponsored

Students who have not received confirmation of funding will be allowed to enrol. However, if confirmation of funding is not received by the University within 28 days of enrolment an invoice for tuition fees will be issued to the student.

Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man must provide the University with documentary evidence of the support that has been offered.

Student Finance England (Student Loan Company) can reassess students awards retrospectively   and may decide with withdraw funding from one or more academic years. This only happens in a small percentage of cases, however in this instance the student would become liable for the tuition fees and invoiced accordingly.

10. Accommodation Fees

This section should be read in conjunction with the University’s ACCOMMODATION LICENCE AGREEMENT

a) Invoices are raised as soon as practicable after the student moves in to University managed residential accommodation.

b) Payment may be made in the following arrangements:-

i.   Payment in full on acceptance of the accommodation offer.
ii.   Pay a £250 non-refundable pre-payment to secure the accommodation place
     followed by three equal instalments via a recurring card payment with a debit or credit
     card, to be paid at the start of each term.

c) Where no instalment arrangement is in place, and once the invoice is overdue a minimum of two letters will be emailed to the student's university email accounts and personal email accounts (where supplied).

d) The Accommodation Office will be notified of students who have overdue accounts and along with Financial Services will make attempts to contact the student to resolve the situation.

e) Finally the account may be passed to the University’s external debt recovery agents for appropriate legal action to recover the debt. This may incur additional charges being added to your account and ultimately affect your ability to obtain credit in the future.

f) Where a student has made an agreement to pay their accommodation fees account through a recurring card payment, these procedures will commence immediately after the initial default.

g) Default of a recurring card payment will result in the withdrawal of this facility and the outstanding balance will be due in full, immediately. 

h) Ultimately failure to pay accommodation fees will result in the student being given Notice to Quit in writing by the University

 

11. Other Invoices

a) Invoices will be raised in the Financial Services section on verification of a correctly entered invoice request by Schools and Services.

b) Invoices will normally be raised and despatched by Financial Services within 5 working days of the instruction being entered onto Oracle Financials. .

c)  Invoices are payable by the date specified on the invoice. Following this a minimum of two credit control letters will be sent to the debtor and the University’s credit control section will attempt to contact the debtor by telephone.

d) Following the procedures outlined above, the University may refer the outstanding account to its external debt recovery agents for appropriate legal action to recover the debt. This may incur additional charges being added to the account and ultimately affect the ability to obtain credit in the future.

Equality issues have been taken into account during the development of this policy and all protected characteristics have been considered as part of the Equality Analysis undertaken.