Deciphering the Differences Between the Bursar and Registrar Offices

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With numerous administrative offices at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), it’s easy to mistake one office for another. While students are working toward earning their tassel, we don’t want them to experience any hassles. When the fall 2019 semester begins, two integral offices will be the Offices of the Bursar and Registrar. We interviewed each office to find out the 411. Here are a few facts on navigating the differences:


 What is a Bursar vs. a Registrar?
  • The Registrar’s Office is responsible for the maintenance, accountability, and accuracy of all student records. These records include transcripts, registrations, add/drop/s, grading, enrollment certifications, degree auditing, and building course schedules.
  • The Bursar’s Office is responsible for anything regarding accounts receivable. They handle all student payments, including: tuition payments, billing balances, processing scholarships, etc.
Which administrative offices are often mistaken for the Registrar and Bursar?
  • The Registrar’s Office is typically mistaken with the Bursar’s Office, while the Bursar’s Office is typically mistaken with Student Financial Services.
    • For Registrar, this occurs because a part of the Bursar’s Office used to be housed in the Registrar’s Office and many students think their office is the main administration office that handles many concerns across campus.
    • For Bursar, students think they’re Student Financial Services because it deals with finances. The main difference is that Student Financial Services offers financial planning solutions while the Bursar processes the payment.
Do you have a memorable interaction with a student or parent?
  • Senior Registration Assistant Justin Slater: “A student who was having trouble registering for a class (because she did not have the proper prerequisites) was waiting for a staff member to receive the permissions to get her into the course. The student left and went to the help desk to complete other assignments. Since I was able to establish a positive relationship with the student, I walked her course schedule down to her once she was enrolled in the course instead of e-mailing her to let her know. The student was grateful that I hand delivered her the schedule and indicated that she was very impressed with the level of customer service that she received. This encounter illustrates the interactions that I enjoy having with all students.”
  • Bursar Rogen Miller: “A parent once called asking about his daughter’s balance. We couldn’t provide this information due to privacy laws. The father became extremely flustered, so I said, ‘While I cannot tell you detailed information, I will at least take a look.’ After searching for a moment, the student’s name was not found on the database. Eventually I asked, ‘Are you sure you’re contacting the right school? We’re the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut.’ The confused father realized that he was contacting the wrong university. He meant to call Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
More important information:
  • USJ offers Military and Veteran Benefits! The Veteran School Certifying Official, Justin Slater, is housed in the Registrar’s Office and will assist any new or prospective veteran to secure his/her educational benefits. This office also graduates students and audits all degrees.
  • The administrative offices are always available for questions. For Registrar, call 860.231.5225 or email [email protected]. For the Bursar, call 860.231.8396 or email [email protected].