The Whetstone/ Cochise Lucas

By Kim Manahan (Whetstone staff writer)

Five students were kicked out of the residence halls this semester because of unpaid balances.

In late October, 22 students faced eviction, said Eric Nelson, vice president of finance.

“There were very few people that had to be removed from the residence halls,” he said.

Wesley began removing students with outstanding balances from the residence halls last spring, Nelson said.

“It’s a sense of fairness,” he said.

Students are given a window of time to pay their bill because financial aid and loans can be delayed, Nelson said. “After 60 days, we can no longer pay for students to stay here, and eat for free.”

They are allowed to stay in their classes though.

When bills are left unpaid, it is calculated into tuition increases, because it causes the college outstanding debt, Nelson said.

“It’s a good incentive,” he said. “Or people will think they can continue not to pay their bills.”

Last month, more than 100 students had their meal cards shut off for the first two meals of the day.

“It was something to get them to financial aid to work it out,” Nelson said. “Students who ignored messages had their meal cards turned off.”

Unpaid balances range from $2,000 to $18,000, averaging at $8,000 per student.

“The students remain in classes,” Nelson said. “We let them get their grades for the semester.”

To get a transcript to transfer, students have to pay off their balance.

They also can’t register for classes, Nelson said.

“A couple of parents have said the kids are on their own and it’s not their responsibility,” he said.