By The Gatepost Editorial Board
Heading into finals season, students at Framingham State are faced with the ultimate test: can we pay our tuition bills on time.
Bills for the Spring 2023 Semester were released by Student Accounts this past Monday and as usual for the spring, we have only three weeks to figure out how we are going to pay.
Over the summer, we are given eight weeks to do something the University now expects from us in less than half that time.
And unlike the summer, we have less time to pick up hours at work or find additional ways to pay our bills once we know our totals.
We are completing final projects and major papers and studying for difficult, cumulative exams, leaving us hardly any time to sort out how we are going to pay our bills.
Besides, it is even more stressful when we would like to participate in gift giving for the holiday season and we cannot provide for our loved ones because we have spent the last of our money on a tuition bill.
As students, we can work throughout the semester to save for our upcoming bill, but there are so many variables at play. It is sometimes difficult to have clarity about what our bills will be.
Scholarships may still be processing, and we could try taking out additional loans, but not all families are eligible to cosign for them and some students may not even have someone to cosign at all.
And in general, students may just be struggling financially - we are college students after all.
Sorting out how to pay thousands of dollars in tuition and fees within a three-week time frame is unreasonable.
The spring semester bill deadline should be extended in the interest of equity and fairness for Framingham State students.
First-generation and low-income students often receive more financial aid and scholarships, which often requires additional paperwork. They may also be learning how to navigate this aspect of college for the first time on their own.
These students often do not have the free time to understand and gather information or to find assistance that could be vital to paying their bill on time, and giving them such a small time frame to work with is inequitable.
The University wants to retain its students, but the way the bill is currently set up is just another barrier we have to face in order to receive our education.
Giving us the time to get together the money necessary when we are not in the middle of classes, exams, or the holidays is simply the right thing to do.
Paying any bill is a heavy burden, especially a bill that pays for the path to our futures.
If we cannot pay our bill on time, a hold will be placed on our account, we could be withdrawn from our courses, and we will be ineligible for registration. If a senior needs to fill a requirement to graduate, they could risk losing their seat in a course because of this.
It can be argued there are consequences for not paying any bill, but all of our other bills can be predicted and planned for ahead of time. The same could be said for our tuition bill if given the additional weeks to sort out our finances such as when we pay our fall bills in the summer.
If the University could extend the deadline to the week before we return from winter break or at least announce our bills earlier in the semester, paying our tuition and fees could be more manageable.
In the season of giving, give us this additional time.