By: Amiya Perkins
The Office of Student Accounts has issued an immediate change in the bookstore voucher policy for all Delaware State University students.
The policy now includes a budget allocation that will help strengthen the university’s Federal compliance with cost of attendance budgets and refund policy, as well as to ensure the integrity of the student refund process.
“While this may be new to the current students, Delaware State University previously held similar policies and practices with regards to bookstore vouchers,” said Dr. Cannon, Assistant Vice President of Student Accounts.
Bookstore vouchers will now be approved based on a student’s budgeted allocation for cost of attendance permitted by the Office of Financial Aid.
The cost of attendance budget allows for a $1,700 yearly allowance ($850 per semester) based on the cost of tuition, fees, housing (if applicable), books/materials, and other costs associated with attending college. .
To be considered for approval, requests must not be in excess of the $1700 yearly allowance and must be made by the cut-off date.
If a voucher in excess of the stated allowance needs to be processed, documentation must be provided by the professor of the specified course.
“This new system will become a hassle because students now have to run around in order to get approval to use their own financial aid or scholarship money that is supposed to be used for school necessities,” shared senior Kurt Deixler.
“One semester, I had to purchase a book that costed $500. I was taking four or five classes, so the cost for all my books totaled well over $850. I think making me provide documentation prolongs the process which is an inconvenience to students and professors.”
In addition to the implementation of the budget allocation, errors and redundancy when processing student refunds through the Office of Student Accounts will be reduced.
“If we process a student refund check and a charge is made (for example, a bookstore voucher is issued), the refund check must be voided and processed again, which in turn delays the time a student can expect to receive their refund,” Dr. Cannon explained.
“This makes the refund amount a moving target, delays the refund process, and creates additional work and possibly frustration for both the student and staff.”
Once the university is able to process and disburse refunds, students then have the liberty to use their funds wherever they desire and aren’t just limited to using their funds solely in the University bookstore.
Other higher education institutions adhere to the cost of attendance budget for books and materials inspiring DSU to implement similar policies to provide the highest level of service to its student body.