Never just read subject lines in emails


Attending a university is a very expensive investment. It is an investment that demands a lot: sleepless nights, sacrificing attending family functions, a week-long Ramen dinner diet, attending events you were never interested in just to make your resume look good, dressing up formally for a presentation when you’re in the mood for pajamas, countless skipped meals and the gastric juice burning your stomach.

But, on top of all of these is the financial investment. Paying for college is ridiculously expensive, and when I say ridiculous, I am thinking of all the number of years that it takes to pay off the debt that hovers over your head wherever you go. That is, if things go as planned and you get a job that satisfies you.

Due to the fact that students are paid the least amount of money and have a huge education expense, students like myself generally tend to be thrifty. I am sure many of you can relate to this when I tell you that I see a snapshot of my bank account in my head when I treat myself to an expensive dress or a nice pair of shoes once in a while.

The same goes with school too. I have a plan on how I will pay for my tuition fees, how many credit hours I will take every semester and what classes I need to take to graduate on time. Among all these, when the school decided to charge for the extra credit hours and increase fees, it came as quite a surprise to me.

I came to Southeastern as a computer science major in the fall of 2018. The Southeastern Promise had just come into effect, and it was a relief that my fees would not increase during my years here. Since my first semester, I took 18 credit hours until the semester prior to this.

However, things did not go entirely as planned. I did not enjoy computer science as much as I thought I would and changed my major to accounting. Due to the change of major, I got suspended from the plan that shielded me from fee increases. I fulfilled all the other criteria. I have been a full-time student and have higher than the required grade point average for the plan. However, the change of major resulted in suspension. I appealed to be enrolled back in the Promise, but I did not hear back from the university.

As a result of this, I was one of the many students affected by the recent fee increase. I had scheduled for 18 credit hours this semester and was completely unaware that the university was implementing the fee increase. When the fee statement came and there was $354 extra charge, I had to change my plan. I decided to drop one of my classes during the drop/add period and take only 15 credit hours.

The Excess Credit Hour Fee has been charged to students taking over 15 credits. I do not understand the reasoning behind capping at 15 credits, but I really think it should be 18 credit hours. Most full-time students take 18 credit hours of classes anyways as it is completely doable.

After noticing the extra charge in my LEONet account, I dug through my email and found out that the university had included this piece of information in the middle of an email informing the availability of fee statement. However, since the majority of students, including myself, were unaware of this situation, I think a little better communication from the university’s end would have helped students affected by the recent fee increase.

Furthermore, I think this incident also taught a life lesson for students like myself who just skim through their emails and do not pay attention to details.

To avoid situations like this, never just read the subject line or the highlighted text. Always make sure to read your emails thoroughly.