Tuition nightmares from those who know them best

Jim Badders, assistant director of Cashiers and Student Accounts at K-State, helps K-State students and their families when college tuition becomes stressful. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The Cashier’s Office and the Office of Student Financial Assistance work with students and their parents when coming up with solutions to pay for college. While K-State works to make the fees students have to pay as transparent as possible, Jim Badders, assistant director of Cashiers and Student Accounts, said tensions are heightened when tuition is due.

“I think everybody is frustrated when they have to pay,” Badders said.

Badders said he works with students and their families in dealing with the stress that comes with paying for college. Whether a family needs more time to pay their bill or needs to come up with other payment options, Badders said he and the other employees in the Cashier’s Office work to help everyone. Stress, however, can cause some people to be less friendly when calling for solutions.

“We’re not trying to make things difficult,” Badders said. “Parents in particular can be rude.”

Badders said the Cashier’s Office is staffed by full-time employees and students who are very caring, and he wants people to keep that in mind when they call his office upset.

Badders said parents have contacted him about their student’s tuition bill and asked for accommodations. He said he once received an email from a woman after K-State first switched to electronic billing. The woman asked to have her bill sent in the mail because she did not have Internet in her hometown.

“I asked her, ‘Well, how did you send this email?’ and I never heard back from her,” Badders said.

Badders said situations like this are common, but he understands college is expensive. He said he wants students and their families to know the Cashier’s Office and other financial aid services on campus are available to help with the payment process.

“We know applying for financial aid can be complex,” Tanya McGee, associate director of Student Financial Assistance, said. “We can make it easier on their end. We try to alleviate that stress.”

While Badders’ office helps students with payments, the Office of Student Financial Assistance helps in the processing of getting money for school, including scholarships and federal aid. It is this office’s job to collect paperwork, process it and distribute financial aid for students.

“Nothing is a crisis,” said Larry Moeder, director of Student Financial Assistance and vice president for Student Life. “Everything can be resolved.”

According to Moeder, the Office of Student Financial Assistance receives panicked phone calls around the time tuition is due. He said a lot of the time, the problems people might have with their financial aid are due to insufficient planning, but every situation is different.

In his 39 years working in the financial aid office, Moeder said he has heard practically every problem a student might have regarding their financial aid or funds for college. Situations such as a parent losing their job or even the death of a family member can make paying for college difficult.

“Whatever you can imagine, I’ve probably heard it as a difficult situation for a student to handle (when paying for college),” Moeder said.

Kelsey Kendall
Hi everyone! I'm a senior in journalism and cultural anthropology. My favorite things are storytelling, coffee and meeting new people. In that order.