Policy Steward: 
Director of Business Services
Format Updated: 
University Policy & Standards Converted: 
Revision Date: 
Monday, December 1, 2014

This information replaces FIS 305 Students A/R in Collections & FIS 307 Bad Debt/Write Off Policy


Students - A/R In Collections

The Collection Department of the Office of Business Affairs Office is responsible for receivable balances owed the university, consisting of fees, fines, tuition, and other charges typically owed by students, either current or former.  When a student leaves school owing money, their receivable account balance is placed in collection status.  A collection fee is assessed, and collection procedures are initiated.

As a state agency, Oregon State University is held accountable by state regulations to determine assignment to “an outside agency” for collections activity when our attempts have proven unsuccessful.

In-house collection activities: Once the account is placed in collection status, the account is assigned to an in-house revenue agent.  The revenue agent begins a series of collection calls and letters to establish a repayment plan.  All students are asked to sign a repayment agreement.

Assignment to collection agencies: When all attempts fail to establish a payment plan with the student, the account is placed with an outside contracted collection agency.  As a state entity, Oregon State University may use the Oregon Department of Revenue as a source for outside collection service.  The Department of Revenue is used primarily when garnishment is possible.  OSU also uses several contracted collection agencies as a means of third party intervention for debt liquidation.

Set off individual liability (SOILS): Non-current students whose in-house collection account is not paid in full within a specified time frame are subject to attachment of any refunds owed them by the state.  OSU is required by state law to participate in the offset program.


Bad Debt Expense

A bad debt expense is charged to all departments submitting charges to be billed through accounts receivable.  The amount is a percentage of the accounts receivable balance at year-end.  The percentage is based on the bad debt experience of the individual fund submitting charges.  The calculation is done by the Office of Business Affairs, and is adjusted annually.


Write-Off Criteria

The following is the criteria for uncollectible debts.

  • The debtor does not and will not for the foreseeable future own or have the right to own assets from which Oregon State University (OSU) could collect the debt.
  • It is reasonably estimated that the cost of collecting the debt would be equal to or exceed the amount of the debt.
  • The debtor is deceased and there are no assets in the debtor’s estate from which OSU could collect the debt.
  • The debtor’s estate is subject to a pending bankruptcy proceeding in which it is reasonable to conclude that the debt will be discharged and that OSU will receive none or an insubstantial share of the assets of the bankruptcy estate.
  • OSU is and will be for the foreseeable future unable to collect the debt from the debtor or from anyone owing the debtor money or holding assets of or from the debtor.