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Earlier this summer, changes were made to the student financials section of the ConnectCarolina Student Center.  Most students will encounter this for the first time when the first bill for fall term is available in mid-July.  And, students will need to take action to re-authorize third-parties (usually parents) for access to billing and payment, and re-sign up for direct deposit.

Major improvements now in place include:

  • A new format for the bill that includes estimated financial aid
  • A simpler process for students to grant authorized user access to others (usually parents)
  • Authorized users will receive email notification when a bill is ready

These improvements are the result of an expansion of the University’s partnership with TouchNet by the Cashier’s Office and ITS. TouchNet is a third-party vendor that currently hosts the University’s online payment process. TouchNet now also hosts student financials bill presentment and other services.

The user experience will be seamless; students will click on “pay bills/manage student finances” in ConnectCarolina’s Student Center Finances section to view account activity and bills hosted by TouchNet. Authorized users will have a link in their email notifications to access the hosted material.

Recommended Student Action
Because of these improvements, students need to:

  • Re-authorize proxies for the new system (prior proxy set-ups are no longer valid for student financials) as authorized users in TouchNet
  • Re-sign up for direct deposit in the new system (prior direct deposit sign-ups will expire)

What to Look For
Here are some of the major changes students will see:

  • The appearance of the ConnectCarolina Student Center Finances section: students should click on “pay bills/manage student finances” to view account activity and bills.
  • The e-bill is in a new format and includes estimated financial aid.
  • Electronic payments now include American Express and Discover as options in addition to MasterCard – the 2.75% fee will continue to apply for bankcard payments (this is a fee charged by the credit card company). Electronic checks continue to be accepted without charge.
  • Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit in the new system. Students who are already signed up for direct deposit will have one year to sign up in the new system.
  • It is now easier for students to authorize parents and other third parties to be able to view and pay bills. Proxy access to student financial information set up in the old system is no longer valid. Students need to re-authorize proxies as authorized users in the new system. (Note that non-financial proxy access has not changed.)
  • The new system allows for more automated email messages related to student account activity, including emails to authorized users (proxies).
  • Requests to the Cashier’s office for student information will be provided only to students and authorized users. This will help the University better comply with FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act).

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