Credit Card Convenience Fee

Letter to Students and Families

January 16, 2013


Dear Southern Miss Parent/Student,

For many years The University of Southern Mississippi has accepted credit and debit cards for payment of student fees and paid the processing charges imposed by the credit card companies on those transactions. As the use of these cards has increased, these charges have become prohibitively expensive for the university.

As a service to our students and parents, we will continue to accept credit and debit cards for the payment of student account balances. However, the university can no longer afford to absorb the additional costs associated with these transactions. A convenience fee program to minimize these costs will be implemented beginning March 1, 2013. This fee will include the following:

  • A 2.75% fee will be added to all credit and debit card payments to offset the processing fee the university must pay to the credit card processor. For example, a $1,000.00 payment to the university will result in a $1,027.50 charge to your credit card.
  • Credit and debit card payments will no longer be accepted over the phone, by mail, fax or in person. There will be computer access located in the Business Services lobby for students on site who wish to pay by debit or credit card. The convenience fee will be charged for these transactions.

The university will provide the following payment alternatives that will not incur the convenience fee:

  • eChecks – An ACH transfer from your bank account can be processed online through a student’s SOAR account.
  • OneCard – A transfer from a student’s OneCard refund debit card.
  • Paper checks – Paper checks may be mailed to USM Business Services, 118 College Drive #5133, Hattiesburg, MS 39406.
  • We will continue to accept cash, checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks in person at Business Services located in Forrest County Hall, Room 101.

The savings realized from the convenience fee program will be used to support the academic mission of the university and help ensure the quality of the educational experience for our students. If you have questions about this change or any of the payment options available, please visit the Business Services website at or call 601.266.4137.



Barbara E. Madison