Rules For Handling The Term Bill

For the parents whose sons and daughters are now part of the college class of 2016, congratulations on your son or daughter having been selected at a college or university of his/her choice. Hopefully it will be an extraordinarily rewarding and meaningful time for you and for them.

I want to share four rules for handling something you will receive before they actually enroll for the Fall semester: the term bill.


Never open a term bill envelop while standing. Open it only while seated at the kitchen table with  pillows in front of you. That way you won’t suffer a concussion when you faint.

Rule #2. DAY  TO OPEN

Only open the bill on your Sabbath Day. That way when the whole neighborhood hears what you may utter or scream they may hopefully just think you are observing the Sabbath at home.

Rule #3  HOW TO OPEN.

Just as you would never look directly at the sun, you must never look directly at a term bill.

Some folks who did were found immobilized with only their head going from side to side when the paramedics  arrived.

Here’s how to avoid being immediately immobilized: Slide the bill out and hold it the paper sideways so that you can only see the left edge of the 81/2×11 sheet(s). Then with one your right eye closed turn the paper slowly toward you so that your left eye only sees a few words as a time. As soon as you see a dollar sign, take a break. Come back in an hour or two, and start from there. When you come back and you see a comma and the first two digits after a dollar sign, take another break. Take as much time as you need. Come back in a few hours, or days, or if you need a vacation then a few weeks. When you come back, work your way up to what comes after the dollar sign and two digits, , then the first zero, then the next zero, and the ones after that.


FERPA is not something your son or daughter can catch at college, but it can catch you. Unlike the three rules above, that are somewhat tongue in cheek, this one is not. FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly called the Buckley Amendment. Make sure your son/daughter authorizes you to see and pay the term bill.  And if you think that just because you are paying the term bill, you have a right to see your son or daughter’s grades,  you might need to think again. Here’s a link to information about FERPA:

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