When I received my e-bill for the Spring 2011 semester, it was similar to all the e-bills I've received during my time here at Seton Hall: reduced tuition due to a Transfer Scholarship I had been offered upon my acceptance here in November of 2008. I paid my e-bill, excited that it would be the last time I'd be coughing up a large amount of money for education (undergraduate anyway…).
A few weeks ago, I received another notification that my e-bill was ready to be viewed via my PirateNet account. I was confused seeing as I had paid my e-bill a month prior to receiving that e-mail. I logged into my PirateNet account and did not see that I had any pending amounts, so I closed out of it and went about my business as a student. A few days ago, I received yet another notification, so I logged in again only to find an ‘amount due' that was equal to the scholarship I have been receiving every semester. I was unsure why I owed Seton Hall my scholarship seeing as they had given me that money, not the other way around.
I decided to do some investigating and found that Seton Hall had applied one semester of my scholarship to the Fall 2008 semester, which would have been fine had I actually been a registered student in Fall 2008. I did not begin attending Seton Hall until January 2009.
I visited the bursar, and they were actually very helpful in assisting me. According to the individual who assisted me, my scholarship was not applied to the Fall 2008 semester, and she "did not know why" it was showing up that way in my PirateNet account. While both she and I agreed I had one semester left of eligibility, the woman who received my case, Holly B. Lemons, told me in an e-mail that my scholarship eligibility had been up as of last semester due to the Transfer Scholarship only being for four semesters at Seton Hall. Therefore, I had to pay the differing amount.
While I am taking full responsibility for not being completely aware of the terms of my scholarship, I am also concerned with the technical glitches. Why was my scholarship listed for a semester where I was not a registered student? Furthermore, when my e-bill was issued, why was my scholarship amount applied to the tuition when I was supposedly ineligible for my scholarship after December 2010?
Granted I am able to pay the amount I apparently now owe the University, I can't help but think of others who may not be able to cough up a large amount of money because they, like me, may have forgotten the terms of their scholarship. Like I said, I am not blaming the University for my forgetfulness, but I think a simple reminder would have sufficed. After all, I think all of us with a SHU e-mail account know how much time the University has to send us e-mails…
Jessica Sutcliffe is a senior journalism major from Cedar Knolls, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.