Student Account Policy Holds Up Graduating Seniors

By Alexandra Rainey

The Lincoln University financial Student Account Policy is affecting current graduating seniors.

The Student Account Policy, also known as the “zero balance” policy is a rule that the university originally implemented in the spring of 2012, under university President Robert R. Jennings. The policy states, regarding graduating seniors, that in order to walk in graduation, you must have no money owed in your student account by April 25, 2014. If students do not have a zero balance by that date, they may not receive their cap and gown nor participate in the commencement ceremony to be held in May.

April 7th-8th, the university held “Senior Salute” for the graduating class of 2014. On those two days, graduating seniors were able to receive their cap and gown for the commencement ceremony. Students who had balances could not pick up their cap and gown.

“It’s crunch time that each student have their money paid to us,” stated Joslyn Cunningham, financial assistant of Office of the Bursar. “[At the end of the day] we want all of our seniors to graduate and [participate] in commencement.”
Most graduating seniors still have balances from the graduation fee attached to their accounts from the beginning of the academic school year. The fee covers the cost of their cap and gown.

“I just want to graduate,” said Lamisha Smith, a graduating senior. “I feel like we already pay Lincoln enough and the fact that we have a graduation fee is [another] thing.“

The zero balance policy not only affects graduating seniors but also students in the fall. If returning students do not have a zero balance, he or she cannot register for classes.

“All students should have their bill paid in due time before the first day of classes,” stated Catherine Rutledge, Director of the Registrar Office.

Students are expected to make their final payment on their accounts to result in a zero balance owed to the university by April 25.

If you are a senior and/or student with financial concerns about your student account, contact the Office of the Bursars at ext. 7432 or check your web advisor financial account at

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