Truman rolls out online system for Perkins Loan repayments

The Truman State University Student Accounts Department has made it more convenient for some students with a Perkins Loan to pay their bills by using a software program for online payments. 

The Student Accounts Department switched to a software program this year to help students who have Perkins Loans, many of which have graduated, make payments online rather than the mail invoices that were being used before. 

“For the longest time, Truman State sent the students paper invoices for their payments, and at the beginning of every year, they would get a paper invoice with coupons that told them what they would owe every month,” University Comptroller Mike Garzanelli said. 

This change will not affect many current students as the government closed the Perkins Loans program in 2017, so most of the students with that loan have either graduated or are very close to it. The software will be beneficial, Garzanelli explained, to students who have Perkins Loans because they can now get billed online.

“It’s all going to be electronic billing, which I think is what most Perkins borrowers wanted, or have wanted, for a long time,” Garzanelli said. “I think a lot of our students are more comfortable with online billing than paper billing.”

Garzanelli said online billing would also be beneficial to the University. 

He also said after graduating, many students move a couple of times. Unless they forward their mail, it is hard for the University to get the loan invoice to them. The online option will ensure that Truman can keep the students aware of what they owe on the loan. 

The switch to the software program, ECSI, will not cause any loss of jobs in the Student Accounts Department. 

Garzanelli said four people are on the team, and they will still perform the same jobs as before. The department will always be available for students to call about their loans and any remaining balances. 

The department will continue to manage all student loans and the new software will not cost Truman any extra money. 

“This was pretty much a revenue-neutral change,” Garzanelli said. “Perkins Loans are through the federal government, so the University continues to collect the money, and it gets repaid to the federal government. This is going to allow us to collect that money more efficiently to get that over to the federal government, and then the portion that is the University’s is going to go to pay for the software.”