Bad Debt Write-Off

Effective Date
Chief Financial Officer
President and Vice Presidents


The Bad Debt Write-off procedures specify steps that must be taken to designate an account as uncollectible and to remove such accounts from the general ledger account fund balance (e.g. write it off).

Applies to

All accounts receivable at The Evergreen State College (TESC). The Business Services office has primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with these procedures.

1. Once an account receivable has been created, it becomes subject to The Evergreen State College "Accounts Receivable Collection Procedures".

2. The Student Financial Services Office is responsible for maintaining all of the college’s accounts receivable subsidiary ledgers and managing the collection process for over due accounts.

3. The Student Financial Services Office will review outstanding receivables quarterly.

The Student Financial Services office will determine which accounts are considered uncollectible and write them off annually.

4. An account is determined to be uncollectible if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Evergreen's collection procedures have been followed and the account remains unpaid.

  • The debtor cannot be located, nor any of the debtor's assets.

  • The debtor has no assets and there is no expectation they will have any in the future.

  • The debt is disputed and the college has insufficient documentation to pursue collection efforts.

  • The debt is discharged in bankruptcy.

  • The debtor has died and there is no known estate or guarantor.

  • It is determined that it is not cost effective to continue collection efforts.

5. Only the Student Financial Services Office is authorized to determine if an account is uncollectible and to write-off the associated charges .

  • For accounting and financial reporting purposes, write-offs of uncollectible receivables are to be made against the appropriate allowance or revenue accounts.

  • The Student Financial Services Office annually makes adjustments to the allowance accounts based on a three-year average of write off amounts or other appropriate basis.

  • Transactions to write-off charges on a student account are handled through a Student Account Entry document.

  • Supporting documentation for a write-off will at a minimum include a listing of each ID, name, charge detail code, description of charge, original charge amount and the balance being written off. This listing will be approved and signed by the Director of Business Services prior to entry.

6. Student Financial Services shall promptly review all accounts written off in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • For accounts between $1,000 and $5,000 the Student Financial Services manager will write up an individual form describing the debt, collection procedures followed, and action taken to support the write off.

  • The Director of Business Services will approve write-off of amounts up to $5,000.

  • The Director of Business Services, with the approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, will submit write-off of amounts over $5,000 to the Attorney General's Office for review and approval. These requests must be accompanied by documentation of collection procedures followed and the reason the account was written off. If the Attorney General does not approve an account for write-off, the account will be returned and the write-off entries will be reversed.

7. The Student Financial Services Office will flag accounts that have had a write-off as having had an uncollectible balance in the past.

  • Any future transactions for those account holders, such as registration or transcripts, will be denied until the uncollectible balance is paid in full.

  • However, this provision will not apply if the debt is fully discharged in bankruptcy or if the account was disputed and the college has insufficient documentation to pursue collections.


OFM 85.54.50

OFM 85.54.60f.


Accounts Receivable: Money owed to the college for goods or services provided to students and/or other parties.

Student Accounts: Accounts containing charges and payments for normal student activity, such as tuition and fees, student housing charges, childcare, meal plans, and other miscellaneous items. These accounts are also used for faculty and staff for purchase of similar services (such as meal plans or childcare).

Non-Student Accounts Receivable: All other accounts receivable for services provided by non-community members, such as conference services, tuition guarantees, advertising, and equipment charges.

Past Due: Any debt that has not been paid by the specified due date.