Monday, May 16, 2005
Ok, I think I need a little reality check to see if I am being reasonable with the administration. I've met with one level of authority, and am currently waiting to talk to someone pretty high up, so I wanted to get a little perspective. Anyway, here's the deal:
- When I signed my lease with Harvard (separate unit than HBS) they told me that I could let my rent slide during the term and it didn't matter. They weren't firm on the due dates.
- During orientation I was told by HBS that my term bill (rent and/or tuition) had to be paid in full by the start of each term.
- There was an announcement on the myHBS home page during a week late last semester that stated that all term bills had to be paid by a certain date early in Term 2 or a $100 per month late fee would be applied.
- The HBS policy on payment of term bills does not mention a 30 day grace period or $100 fine for late payment, but does say that you should pay your bill on time (rent and/or tuition).
Ok, given the above facts, I had been letting my rent slide and then paying everything at the end of the term. As such, I was paid in full by the time of the deadline they set early in the term. However, after that deadline I didn't pay rent again until late in April, in accordance with my understanding of the system. This time I was charged a $100 fine, because I didn't pay within 30 days of the due date. According to the administration that one week announcement actually meant that if you didn't pay within 30 days of the due date, for any term bill, you would be charged $100 per month as a late fee. I didn't read it that way.
Now, I understand the need for the fine, and I agree that they don't want people paying all their tuition at the end of two years, but you have to notify people in advance if you are going to levy a fine like this. So, I'm protesting the fee and working my way up the chain of command trying to get it overturned. My question is this: Is this a noble fight worth fighting, or should I shut up, pay the fee, and go on about finals? Let me know what you think!