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Universities: institutions of higher learning or institutions of profit$?

  1. May 7, 2012 #1
    Today I just received my "Higher One" debit card for any future refunds that my university will need to give me for anything. I just read the terms and conditions for this card, and there are $2.50 ATM fees for every ATM withdraw not at a specified ATM (of course the specified ATMs are very, very scarce), a $0.50 per transaction fee, a $10 inactive account fee, a $50 fee if you over withdraw $5 or more, etc. etc (you get the point). This is absolutely outrageous a so called institution of 'higher learning' is telling students to do business with a company like this. They're essentially nickel and diming students to death that are receiving refunds on their financial aid or other expenses. It's also outrageous they're doing business with a bank that has been warned by the FDIC for an action with regards to "overdraft charging on persistently delinquent accounts, collections and transaction error resolution".

    Universities definitely make money off of this too:


    This is the kind of thing that absolutely gets my blood boiling. I thought this was an institution of higher learning that was supposed to look out for the best interests of their own students, many of whom are already being crushed by huge amounts of student loan debt.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2012 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Both. Universities provide a service of education AND they are commercial enterprises.

    The higher up the academic ladder, the better the standard of living. In addition to the faculty, there are numerous folks in the administration. The more money coming into a university, the higher the salaries and benefits.
  4. May 7, 2012 #3


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    Those fees are pretty standard. My credit union does a bit better, but this is nothing outrageous. The history of your posts seems to imply that you feel you deserve some sort of special treatment because you're at a university and are a student. If you don't like how the university conducts itself, don't use their debit card. Transfer the money to a better bank.
  5. May 7, 2012 #4
    The university puts refunds into these accounts. If you don't use your account there's a fee. What am I going to do, open and close an account every single time I need a refund from the University in order to avoid ridiculous fees? Let's try to read more carefully next time. Thanks for playing!

    If you want to by pass this third party all together, you have to hand over your bank account #, social security #, DL #, and contact info to this company. How about no thanks.
  6. May 7, 2012 #5


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    Who says you close the account? Transfer all but a small amount out to keep the account from being inactive. This is a simple solution. How often are you getting refunds from the university that this would be a difficult task?
  7. May 7, 2012 #6
    That's exactly the problem!

    If you don't get refunds that often, you are stuck with an account you're never going to use! If you don't use it, you are hit with fees. If you leave it with $5 left, you can get hit with an inactivation fee. Then after that hits you, you then get hit with a $50 fee for being $5 under. I'm not going to keep transferring money into account I didn't even want in the first place just to avoid an inactivation fee and then transfer it from there into my own that I really want to use. I don't even live near campus and can't even use this card without getting hit with a $2.50 fee if I wanted cash.

    These cards will also be used to give refunds to students from their student loan overpayments. Its' the students own money. A bank that's in trouble with the FDIC should NOT be able to have their hands in this kind of money, especially considering the fact that they're essentially taking money from students that they're already paying interest on. Ridiculous.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
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