Palomar College has employed NelNet, a student loan service company that provides students with the option to pay for their tuition and student fees via interest-free monthly installments, rather than a lump sum.
“There were many students that had large balances that either did not receive any financial aid or did not receive enough financial aid. They needed a way to pay their balances after the term had ended,” Palomar’s Student Accounts & Cashiering Manager, Cassandra Stone, said in an email.
Students can enroll in the payment plan through their MyPalomar(eServices) account where they can create an account linked to the NelNet platform. There they can make payments, and track their balance and payment history. Payments can be made via card or bank account.
Students must have a minimum balance of $100 to be eligible for the payment plan and will be charged a one-time $25 dollar fee to enroll. In addition, a minimum $35 down payment must be made towards the total balance. Optionally, a larger down payment can be made. If they don’t have sufficient funds to make payments, they will be charged a $30 fee for each unsuccessful payment attempt.
Students may be dropped from their classes if the plan is canceled before classes begin. Otherwise, a hold will be placed on their account preventing them from enrolling in additional classes.
If students drop their classes after enrolling in the payment plan, they will be refunded up to the point which they have dropped, so long as they’ve done so within Palomar’s established deadline. They will not be refunded the $25 enrollment fee. More details about the payment plan can be found in this document.
Stone mentions that there is also a past-due payment plan which gives students another chance to pay off their balances instead of going through the Chancellor’s Office Tax Offset Program (COTOP), another program Palomar participates in, that pays student balances with their state income tax returns or lottery winnings.
The past due payment plan, however, requires students to request an invitation, according to Stone. “Students cannot sign up for this one through their MyPalomar account. We review their account and send out the invitation. The Past Due Payment Plan offers up to a year to pay off a past due balance if the amount owed is over $500.” she wrote in an email.
While NelNet is a loan servicing company, that isn’t what the school uses it for, Stone explained; “We use it for our payment plans and another product they have called Forms which helps students pay for different things online.”
NelNet provides technology and communication solutions for K-12 schools, churches, and other businesses and organizations. The company was founded over 40 years ago and is currently based in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are made up of over 20 companies across 4 divisions with their main purpose being to serve others.