FAQ: Credit Card and Debit Card Payments
In an effort to provide students and parents with additional flexibility when making payments, Georgetown will accept payment by credit card and debit card from all students and their authorized users. This document serves as a list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ). Click on links to expand.
How do I make payments towards my student account by credit/debit card?
- Credit and debit card payments are only accepted online through Student Account Services (accessible via MyAccess) and every credit/debit card payment will incur a convenience fee of 2.85% of the transaction amount (minimum of $3.00)
- If you are considering using a debit card for payment, paying by electronic check (e-check) is the same as paying by debit card for users with US-based checking or savings accounts (both are direct debits to your bank account). A debit card payment incurs a 2.85% convenience fee. There is no fee with an electronic check (e-check) payment
- Georgetown will no longer accept credit or debit card payments by mail, in person, or via fax for student account payments (from the limited groups of students who were previously eligible to pay by credit card)
- Credit and debit card payments are not processed by Georgetown. PayPath, a secure third-party payment service, processes online credit and debit card payments for tuition and other student account charges on behalf of Georgetown
- The non-refundable convenience fee will be assessed by PayPath and will appear as a separate charge on your credit card statement
- Unlike the eCheck payment option, you will be unable to store your credit card information for future use; payments can be scheduled for future dates at the time that the credit card information is entered into the system, but if at any point in the future you wish to make or schedule any additional payment(s), you will have to re-enter this information
Why is a convenience fee added for credit/debit card payments?
- The convenience fee charged by PayPath covers the cost of processing credit and debit card payments
- Georgetown will not receive any part of the convenience fee
- With respect to the limited groups of students that previously were able to pay by credit card without a convenience fee, the costs Georgetown incurred for processing were large and rising. The savings Georgetown will achieve will be used to fund new programs and enhance services
What payment methods can be used to avoid the convenience fee?
- eCheck payments from checking and savings accounts submitted online by via Student Account Services (accessible via MyAccess)
- Paper check payments via mail, and both cash and check payments in person at the Revenue and Receivables office in the lower level of White Gravenor
- Wire transfer payments. Instructions are available by emailing Revenue and Receivables
- More information on our payment options can be found on the How Do I… Page
What credit/debit cards can I use to pay student account charges?
- You may make student account payments using PayPath with all major credit and debit cards (MasterCard, Discover, Visa and American Express)
- Other cards that are accepted include Diners Club, JCB, and China Union
Why can’t I see the convenience fee charge on my student account?
- PayPath, not Georgetown, assesses the convenience fee, so it will not appear on your student account
- The convenience fee will appear as a separate charge on your credit card statement
Is the convenience fee refundable?
- The 2.85% convenience fee is non-refundable, even if the student account payment to which it relates is canceled, refunded, credited, or charged back
- Any convenience fee disputes must be taken directly to your credit card company
What if I am due a refund, having paid with a credit card?
- Georgetown is required to refund any overpayments made by a credit card back to the credit card account used to make the payment
- The convenience fee will not be refunded for the portion overpaid
Can payment plan installments be scheduled using a credit/debit card?
- Yes. Credit or debit cards can be used to schedule a payment for a payment plan installment
- Students and authorized users may use more than one payment method to make the installment payments on their payment plan
- Credit card information will not be stored for use beyond any payments scheduled at the time of plan enrollment. If you sign up for a plan in a future semester, or wish to make any additional payment(s) to your account at a later date for charges not included in the payment plan, you will have to re-enter your credit card information
Do other universities charge convenience fees for credit card payments?
- Yes. All of Georgetown’s peer institutions either accept credit card payments only with a convenience fee, or do not accept credit card payments at all
- Georgetown is offering payment by credit card as an option because we believe in the highest degree of flexibility for our students and their authorized users, and we believe that our students and their authorized users are financially savvy enough to know when payment by credit card is the right option for them
What should I consider before making a decision to pay by credit/debit card?
- The convenience fee of 2.85% will almost invariably be a greater cost than any benefit (points, cash back) that is awarded by your card company
- The convenience fee is not the rate at which you will pay interest on the balance due on your credit card. It is a one-time charge on top of the payment amount that will be added to your credit card balance
- You may be able to obtain a federal or private student loan that compares more favorably than carrying credit card debt. Please contact your financial aid office for more information
- Credit card interest rates can vary greatly. Review your card agreement and determine whether any promotional interest rate applies, for how long, what your standard interest rate is, and what the penalty interest rate is
- As referenced above, paying by electronic check is the same as paying by debit card for users with US-based checking or savings accounts (both are direct debits to your bank account), but paying by electronic check does not incur the convenience fee
- Credit and debit card payments are confirmed at the time of payment, much like wire transfers and cashier’s checks (and unlike electronic checks and paper checks)
Will my employer or sponsor be able to pay by credit card?
- Yes, but only with certain caveats: The sponsor must be able to identify an individual (associated with a particular email address) who you will establish as an authorized user via Student Account Services. That individual must then log in via Student Account Services and make payment towards your account, utilizing the PayPath option. Further instructions for establishing an authorized user, and instructions for authorized users to make payment are available on the How do I… Page
- Sponsors unable to process payment online in this manner, or who are unwilling to pay the convenience fee, must make payment utilizing a different payment method