October 12, 2009 by Mark Cramer NMSU NewsCenter
Beginning with Spring 2010 course registration, New Mexico State University will be moving to clickwrap agreements to enhance the registration process for students.
A clickwrap agreement is a common type of agreement often used in connection with software licenses and found primarily on the Internet as part of the installation process of many software packages, or in other circumstances where the agreement is sought using electronic media.
Students will be required to acknowledge “terms and conditions” within the secured myNMSU portal prior to registering online for courses. The “terms and conditions” Web page acknowledgment will establish that a student is processing registration for courses at NMSU and will be liable for charges associated with this term. Students will be informed they must officially withdraw by applicable deadlines to avoid charges if they choose not to attend the term.
There will be a three-step acknowledgment process required of each student prior to any term registration or schedule change. The three-step process may be considered cumbersome to a student, but the purpose of these steps is to ensure that the student understands they are entering into a financial commitment with NMSU. Terms and conditions will also be published in each term’s Schedule of Classes with the statement that processing course registration, either by Web or in person, constitutes acknowledgment of “terms and conditions” for payment of the term.
This process replaces the student’s payment arrangement method required by the first Friday of a term and places the payment arrangements at the beginning of the registration process, rather than at the end. Previously, students were “disenrolled” from classes if they did not adhere to the agreement. Disenrollment will still be used, but it will be based on a student’s outstanding debts for prior terms rather than payment arrangements for the current term.
Leland Kiehne, of university accounts receivable, estimated that this method of class registration has been in place for more than 30 years, “since computers started playing a part in the registration process.”
“This procedure change utilizes a Web-based electronic contract concept for student tuition debt and removes the bottleneck payment deadline that students have faced in the past,” Kiehne said. “This often resulted in students having their enrollment cancelled due to missing the deadline, so this new process is a significant benefit.”
For the Spring 2010 semester and after, students may reserve classes via the clickwrap agreement. The agreement is comprised of a series of screens that detail terms and policies of paying for classes, and it informs students that they are entering into a legally binding contract with the university. One final click-through serves as the students’ electronic signature, virtually agreeing to abide by the terms of the agreement.
“Now we’re putting the financial arrangement up front, before a student selects courses,” Kiehne said. “Students will have agreed to pay for courses, so if they choose not to attend, they will need to withdraw from classes.”