Statement by Shippensburg University regarding the Office of the Attorney General’s commitment to reducing financial hardships on Pennsylvania’s students

Shippensburg University is first and foremost always committed to student success. We applaud the online system the AG will be implementing that will help minimize the use of collection agencies and eliminate excessive fees on student payments during their first 90 days of payment default.

The university allows students to continue their degree attainment pathway even during times of financial hardship provided there is a good faith effort to keeping their accounts current. This helps students with social mobility and career readiness, critical factors of financial stability and capability in paying current and default amounts.

We laud the AG’s commitment to reducing barriers to higher education. Our goal is to graduate students with as little debt as possible. Eliminating debt collections hurdles such as additional fees and a negative impact to their credit history is paramount.

At Ship, we also put our money where our mouth is… any students at Ship who have been placed with a collection agency do not pay agency fees, those fees are paid by the University.  In addition, the agencies we work with do not send the accounts to credit bureaus, so the collections do not affect students’ credit scores.

Currently, approximately $2.27 million dollars is owed to Shippensburg University from approximately 500 student accounts spanning a number of years. This includes years spent in collections with the AG office and the university under the processes used to date.

Shippensburg University is committed to finding the best solution to a difficult situation in the shortest time possible to benefit our students and alumni. Like the AG, the university is committed to reducing the financial burden on Pennsylvania’s students by implementing a student-first payment system to promote financial literacy and responsibility as we work towards our mutual goal of creating career-ready graduates as an economic engine of the region.