One of the many benefits of the Inclusive Access model includes the ability to set up a seamless and simplified student billing process. We work with each campus partner and their bursar’s office to determine the best billing process to fit with their current student billing workflows. Our streamlined billing process not only saves time and improves accuracy, but provides our campus partners with peace of mind.
The two most common student billing workflows we can accommodate are:
- Course Fee Billing Model, where charges are billed to the student account before the term starts, typically at registration.
- Bursar Billing Model, where charges are billed to the student account after the course add/drop date.
Before determining the best process for your Inclusive Access billing workflow, there are several things to consider:
- What type of student billing workflow is your Bursar’s Office currently implementing? Are there any course fees that are currently being charged to student accounts (i.e. lab fees, parking tickets, etc.)?
- If so, how is that currently being processed? Could the Inclusive Access billing follow the same process?
- Who are the team members that need to be involved in approving and establishing Inclusive Access billing workflows?
- What is your current timeline for finalizing Inclusive Access courses for the upcoming term? What is the typical timeline of getting faculty adoptions?
The Inclusive Access billing approval process can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on the size of your program and the stakeholders that need to be involved. Take a closer look at the Course Fee Billing Model and the Bursar Billing Model to determine which is right for you.
Course Fee Billing Model
In a course fee billing model, Inclusive Access charges are billed to the student account before the term start. This workflow provides improved student transparency around price and typically follows an existing billing workflow already in place.
- RedShelf and campus partner determine the exact billing workflow they wish follow
- Campus provides RedShelf with the desired student billing date, typically:
- At the time of registration
- Before financial aid is disbursed or
- In the weeks prior to the term start
- Typically follows an existing student account billing workflow
- Improves transparency around the cost of course materials for students ahead of the term start
- Assists campuses in meeting Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) mandates
- Charges hit financial aid immediately so students can use this for required materials
- Requires the Bursar’s Office to process both initial charges and refunds
- Requires earlier Inclusive Access course confirmations in order to meet timelines
Bursar Billing Model
In a bursar billing model, Inclusive Access charges are billed to the student account after the course add/drop date. This workflow provides additional flexibility and simplicity for the campus.
- RedShelf and campus partner determine the exact billing workflow they wish to follow
- Campus provides RedShelf with the student billing date (after the add/drop date)
- RedShelf confirms the courses and pricing (typically 2 - 6 weeks ahead of the term start)
- RedShelf delivers the student billing report and invoice (within 2 - 5 days of the agreed upon billing date)
- Campus charges only those students who remain opted into the program
- Simplifies the billing process by charging only those students who remain opted-in
- Allows Inclusive Access courses to be added closer to the term start
- Provides students with free access to the materials before the add/drop date
- Additional communication needed to ensure students are aware that the cost will be billed to their account
Student Account Billing Methods
There are several different ways RedShelf can provide reports to campus partners to simplify the student account billing process. RedShelf works with each partner to determine the channel, required information, and frequency of the reports. These reports can be customized to include billable students by the course-level or the student-level, student opt-outs, student drops, or no charges for continuation students.
- Invoicing - The most commonly adopted workflow where RedShelf provides a student billing report and invoice via email and the campus places the charge on the student account.
- Daily Student Charge File - RedShelf produces a file based on the campus's specifications that can be sent via SFTP or email and loaded into their SIS on a frequency needed by the campus.
- Bookstore POS Charge - If a bookstore has the ability to charge student accounts, they can do so via their POS (currently integrated with NBC, MBS, and Booklog).