Credit Card Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Things to remember
- For payment of tuition and room & board, credit and debit cards are only accepted through the Student Information System (SIS) with a 2.75% convenience fee.
- Visa brand credit cards, debit cards, and check cards are not accepted.
- The credit card convenience fee is not refundable.
- eChecks/ACH payments are also accepted through SIS without a service fee.
Why has a convenience fee for credit card payments been implemented?
Pennsylvania College of Technology is committed to managing funds entrusted to the institution as efficiently as possible. During 2010-11, the cost to the College for providing an option for students and parents to use credit and debit cards to pay tuition bills exceeded $422,000. In 2011-12, fees are expected to top $460,000.
In order to continue providing an option for credit and debit card payments, effective July 2012, card payments will be processed through a third-party vendor, who will assess a 2.75% convenience fee for each transaction. This will ensure the cost of the service impacts only those who choose to use it.
What credit and debit cards are accepted for student account payments?
- Discover Card
- American Express
- PCT OneCard (MasterCard)
Why is Visa no longer accepted for tuition and other charges posted to a student’s account?
Visa’s rules do not allow a percentage-fee charge — they require a flat fee for all payment types, including eCheck payments.
Has Penn College stopped accepting Visa altogether?
No, all other departments throughout the campus which accept credit card payments such as the College Store, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, and others accept Visa as a form of payment.
What happens if I pay by debit card?
Debit cards are treated like credit cards and charged a service fee. If there is a Visa logo on your card it cannot be used to make the payment as we do not accept Visa.
Will the convenience fee be included on my student account breakdown and statement?
No, a third-party company, CASHNet, charges the service fee. It will not appear on your student account or eBill. During payment, the amount of the convenience fee being charged will show in advance and the convenience fee will be included on your receipt.
How will the transaction appear on my credit card statement?
Two separate transactions will appear on your credit card statement: one for the student account payment and one for the service fee.
Can I make a credit card payment over the phone or by mail?
No, credit card payments cannot be made over the phone or via mail. This is a security measure to make sure your payment information stays private.
Can I pay in person at the Bursar’s Office using a credit card?
While you can’t pay with a credit card at the Bursar’s Office counter, there is a payment kiosk in the Bursar’s Office where you can make an online payment using MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
According to credit card rules, convenience fees must be charged for all payment types for a given payment location. If we allowed credit card payments at the Bursar’s counter, we would also have to add the convenience fee to check and cash transactions. To help keep costs down for our students, we moved all tuition and room & board credit card payment processing to a third-party credit card processor.
What other payment options are available that do NOT incur a convenience fee?
There are a variety of payment options available to you that do not incur a convenience fee. These include:
- eCheck: The College accepts eCheck payments through SIS with no convenience fee charge. eChecks are easy to create: simply enter your bank account and routing numbers (located on the bottom of your personal check) into the secure payment page, and the funds will be subtracted from your bank account within 1-2 days.
- Cash: In person at the Bursar/Student Accounts Office in the Student & Administrative Services Center. Do not send cash in the mail.
- Check/money order
- In person at the Bursar/Student Accounts office
- By mail (payable to Penn College), please write the student’s ID number on your check and include a copy of your student eBill.
- Visa checks are accepted.
Students and families may also wish to view alternative financial aid options. Government or alternative loans typically have much lower interest rates and may be a better choice than paying by a credit card.
Can I pay with my PCT OneAccount without paying a convenience fee?
Yes, you must pay by eCheck using your PCT OneAccount. Login to your PCT OneAccount, go to the dropdown box under the OneAccount tab, and select Account Statements. Your bank account and routing information is listed there.
What is an eCheck?
Instead of writing a check from your personal checking account, you can process one electronically. You will need your bank account number and routing number, located on the bottom of your personal check.
Can I use any check as an eCheck?
eCheck payments can be made from US checking accounts in US dollars. Checks issued from money market accounts, credit card companies, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, home equity, or other lines of credit cannot be processed as an eCheck. These types of checks will still be accepted by mail or in person. If you are unsure of whether or not your check can be used or what routing/transit and account numbers to enter, call your bank, ask them if your account can be used for ACH, and verify the correct numbers to use.
Are other colleges and universities making similar changes?
Yes, most colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and throughout the country have already made similar changes regarding credit card payments.