The Bursar's Office will no longer print student account statements beginning in March, according to Elizabeth Gentry, assistant vice president of Financial and Administrative Services, to whom the Bursar's Office reports.
Student Financial Services Director Wynette Richardson, who oversees the Bursar's Office, said she recommends that students who want their parents or guardians to view their billing statements set them up as authorized users online before April.
All future statements will be available electronically at http://payment.brown.edu and http://selfservice.brown.edu. Both students and authorized users receive an e-mail notification every month when a new billing statement is issued, Gentry said.
Gentry said the change is primarily aimed at "business process improvement" and cost efficiency. She said it will save on printing, machine running and mailing — an estimated amount of $40,000 to $50,000 per year. It will also save the staff time spent on the "verymanual and labor-intensive process" of printing paper statements, she said.
The change at the Bursar's Office is part of the "Brown is Green" initiative, which will reduce paper usage by 6,000 to 8,500 paper statements per month, Richardson said.
Gentry said families who prefer to have paper billing statements mailed to them for various reasons can contact the Bursar's Office and make such arrangements.
Going paperless is part of the process of establishing an electronic payment system, which dates back to the implementation of Banner in 2007, Gentry said. Electronic billing became a new option for families in April 2009, serving as a "soft opening" for the new program, she said.
The implementation of electronic billing was an effort made to "create convenience for our families, particularly international families," because it can take a long time for the regular mail to reach them, Gentry said.
The new system also enables the user to schedule a payment for a future date, Richardson said.
Since its implementation, online billing has gained in popularity among students and parents, according to Richardson. There are currently over 7,000 active student users of online billing and about 2,200 other authorized users, she said.
The next step is to make the University's Installment Payment Plan, which lets families spread annual charges over a span of 12 months, available online for fall semester this year, Richardson said.