In First bill from UCSB, I mentioned an e-mail I had sent to UCSB with queries about my first bill. I got a reply today, so I’ll post their answers (with the typos intact):
- Which meal plan did he sign up for? The $5,202.94 price seems to be between the costs quoted on http://www.housing.ucsb.edu/rates for double room unlimited and double room 17 meals. I assume that there is some variation from quarter to quarter on price, based on number of meal times, but the rates aren’t broken down by quarter and the bill doesn’t say which meal plan, so I’m not sure what we are paying for.
To answer your question regarding the meal plan cost, I would recommend to look at his housing contract or he can contact the housing department at 805-893-5513 they will be able to answer this question in detail.
My summary: “we have no idea what we’re charging you for—it’s not our department”. I’d love to look at the housing contract, but I don’t believe they’ve sent it yet. Note that the bill comes before the statement of what the bill is for, and even direct inquiry doesn’t get the details.
- We requested a student health insurance waiver and appealed the rather arbitrary initial denial (which was an incomplete form e-mail that just complained about the Blue Shield phone number that we had provided). When will we hear on the appeal of the waiver? Do we need to pay now and get a credit when the appeal goes through?
Once the health insurance appeal has been processed you or your student should receive an email of the decision within two weeks. If it has been more then you two weeks he my contact the student health insurance line directly at 805-893-2592.
We’ll wait a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t tell me whether I need to pay and get reimbursed or simply not pay that portion.
- The link to http://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/feechart.htm redirects to http://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/feechart.aspx which just has a pointer to http://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/downloads/2014-15final.pdf Why not just point to the right document on the bill without double indirection?
No response, but none expected.
- The fees at http://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/downloads/2014-15final.pdf gives the campus total as $4,620.05 but the bill is for $4,520.05 Where is the $100 discrepancy?
He was require to send in $100.00 with his Intent to Registrar. The $100.00 payment is applied towards the first quarter tuition. That is why he is being charged $4520.05 instead of $4620.05.
OK, but standard business practice would be to record the deposit with the Statement of Intent to Register as a credit, rather than silently and mysteriously changing the fees.
- What is the unexplained “Contract Processing Fee – On” charge on the bill? There is no mention of this on the document explaining the fees.
The contract processing fee of $25.00 is for the housing contract.Hmm, there is no mention of the “contract processing fee” in the stated price of the dorm contracts. Secret, hidden fees should be illegal. I expected the RHA student fees, but not an extra fee from the university for handling billing. Furthermore, the fee was on the bill for $50, not $25. Does the billing office not even know the secret fees themselves?
- Is there an easy way to transfer money directly from the Scholarshare 529 plan to UCSB, or do I need to write a check and wait for Scholarshare to reimburse me?
I will provide you a link with the 529 college saving plan instructions http://www.bfs.ucsb.edu/barc/general-information-students. If you wish to pay the balance out of pocket and then submit your request from the 529 college plan in order to get reimbursed, you may do so.
The link says that the 529 plan needs to mail a paper check and gives the address. The check must also include the student’s name and “PERM number”. The Scholarshare web site does have instructions for sending checks directly to universities, so I could do that or pay the amount out of my current bank account and have Scholarshare reimburse me. If I ask Scholarshare to send the check, I have no idea how long it will take them—we were warned at orientation that it could take weeks. So it seems safest to send the check myself and get Scholarshare to reimburse me, as long as I don’t risk overdrawing my checking account. I’ll wait a couple of weeks to see whether UCSB can process the waiver of the student health insurance correctly.
- We were told that the summer orientation charges would appear on the BARC bill, but I don’t see them. Is there a revised bill coming?
The orientation department has not charged the orientation fee yet. I would suggest to give it a bit more time and the charge should appear on the next billing statement.
That seems reasonable, but why is orientation so far behind on their billing? They should have known when the bills were going to be sent to freshmen and had their billing to the right department at least a week ahead of time.Note that there is no mention of when the “next billing statement” will be.
Overall, I remain unimpressed with the competence of the business side of the University of California.