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   Welcome to the real world: Your financial aid has arrived in the form of a debit card preloaded with a $0.50 fee per transaction

05 Nov 2012 11:00 PM   |   7266 clicks   |   Miami Herald
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Bathia_Mapes    [TotalFark]  
University of Oregon uses the OneCard system to pay out financial aid. There have been several articles in the local paper talking about the fees the students are charged.

05 Nov 2012 08:52 PM
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ArkAngel    [TotalFark]  
So does UW-Parkside, my alma mater. Never got any fees because I used the on-campus ATM to withdraw $500 at a time until it was empty, then put it in my bank. Biggest problem I ever had with it was a Coach Lines bus driver thinking it wasn't a student ID (even after I pointed out the three different places on the card it showed it was) and refusing to give me the student discount.

05 Nov 2012 09:13 PM
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davidphogan     

ArkAngel: I used the on-campus ATM to withdraw $500 at a time until it was empty, then put it in my bank.


That sounds like the plan I thought of.

05 Nov 2012 11:03 PM
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Yogimus     
Hey sweetie, if you don't like the strings that come with your free money, feel free to give it back at any time.

05 Nov 2012 11:08 PM
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nmemkha     
TFA: "Higher One encourages students to choose the "credit" option when making purchases on the card (it's accepted as a MasterCard), as that method doesn't incur transaction fees."

That's bullshait. Many retailers are moving away from credit and offering debit only as it incurs less fees for them. For example, my local gas station only accepts debit on debit/credit cards. It will take a reg. credit card, but will prompt for a PIN if the card is also debit with no customer choice.

05 Nov 2012 11:10 PM
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gadian     
Lucky. My financial aid department still hasn't processed my paperwork. It has all been received (and has been since august), but still not reviewed. We're past mid-terms, for the love of christ. I just know there are going to be issues where they're not going to want to pay out for the fall and only for the spring because the fall is over.

05 Nov 2012 11:10 PM
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GoodOmens     
Just goes to prove how much a joke higher ed is becoming in this country. It's all about bottom lines these days. I'm sure the University is getting some excellent kickbacks for shoving these cards down their students throats.

05 Nov 2012 11:11 PM
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aaronx    [TotalFark]  
"We've replaced these students' normal student aid with a private-sector based solution. Let's see if they notice."

05 Nov 2012 11:14 PM
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whatshisname     
Remember when bank accounts were free and you got interest on your deposits?

05 Nov 2012 11:14 PM
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jclaggett     
My local community college uses Higher One as well. I let them deposit the money into that account then immediately start fund transfer processes on my USAA account to suck it all out. USAA makes up to like 600 bux immediately available and the rest clears in like 4 business days. I've never once used the damned card from Higher One.

05 Nov 2012 11:15 PM
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Fark Me To Tears     
The Great Screwing continues...

05 Nov 2012 11:16 PM
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GoodOmens     

aaronx: "We've replaced these students' normal student aid with a private-sector based solution. Let's see if they notice."


Well getting a check and depositing it in your bank like before would be a form of private sector based solution.

So cue the not sure if serious photo???

05 Nov 2012 11:16 PM
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wraith95     

nmemkha: TFA: "Higher One encourages students to choose the "credit" option when making purchases on the card (it's accepted as a MasterCard), as that method doesn't incur transaction fees."

That's bullshait. Many retailers are moving away from credit and offering debit only as it incurs less fees for them. For example, my local gas station only accepts debit on debit/credit cards. It will take a reg. credit card, but will prompt for a PIN if the card is also debit with no customer choice.


and you can't hit cancel to have it take it as a credit card? I've seen systems that default ask for your pin, but hitting cancel will run it as credit. You should try it. I bet you were either lied to or the clerk was an idiot.

05 Nov 2012 11:17 PM
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Ooba Tooba     
$3.00 a transaction on my gf s card. I will tell her ArkAngel's method:)

05 Nov 2012 11:20 PM
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buzzcut73     
I'm glad the university I attend hasn't fallen for that crap yet.
I just went to the financial aid tab, entered my info on the direct deposit link, and the money was there a couple of days before the paper check disbursement date.

I can't see how going with an outfit like Higher One would save a university much money...they still have to process all of the paperwork for ED, get the money, disburse it to student accounts, and the on to Higher One. Where is the savings in doing that versus disbursing it to individual bank accounts that are already in the system?

/Nobody I know on financial aid actually goes with the 'pick up a check at the cashier's office' option, so I may be missing something.

05 Nov 2012 11:20 PM
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nmemkha     

wraith95: nmemkha: TFA: "Higher One encourages students to choose the "credit" option when making purchases on the card (it's accepted as a MasterCard), as that method doesn't incur transaction fees."

That's bullshait. Many retailers are moving away from credit and offering debit only as it incurs less fees for them. For example, my local gas station only accepts debit on debit/credit cards. It will take a reg. credit card, but will prompt for a PIN if the card is also debit with no customer choice.

and you can't hit cancel to have it take it as a credit card? I've seen systems that default ask for your pin, but hitting cancel will run it as credit. You should try it. I bet you were either lied to or the clerk was an idiot.


I was talking at the pump payment. This is America; its a hassle pulling out the Rascal to get my heaving bulk the 50ft. needed to pay at the clerk.

05 Nov 2012 11:21 PM
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shintochick     

jclaggett: My local community college uses Higher One as well. I let them deposit the money into that account then immediately start fund transfer processes on my USAA account to suck it all out. USAA makes up to like 600 bux immediately available and the rest clears in like 4 business days. I've never once used the damned card from Higher One.


USAA is arguably the best financial/insurance institution in this country. I use them for everything.

05 Nov 2012 11:21 PM
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ComicBookGuy     
Anyone got the impression subby never went to college, and is crazy jealous of those who did?

05 Nov 2012 11:24 PM
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reklamfox     

Ooba Tooba: $3.00 a transaction on my gf s card. I will tell her ArkAngel's method:)


Holy fark that ridiculous! Maybe $3 a MONTH is okay but jesus $3 per transaction is insane. Luckily my university hasn't picked up on the whole debit card craze, I get my loans back through regular direct deposit. No waiting and no fees. Its so much easier that way.

05 Nov 2012 11:28 PM
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The WindowLicker     

shintochick: USAA is arguably the best financial/insurance institution in this country. I use them for everything.


I can't say enough good things about USAA either.

My secondary accounts are with Navy Federal Credit Union. I honestly feel a bit bad for Navy Fed. They are a great CU, and they have provided me with great service, but their competition is USAA.

05 Nov 2012 11:30 PM
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Talondel     
1) If your complaint is related to how you receive your financial aid, you are in no way, shape or form, in the 'real' world.
2) If you can't figure out on your own how to avoid bank and transaction fees, maybe higher education isn't for you?

05 Nov 2012 11:37 PM
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snocone    [TotalFark]  
Ahh, progress,,,
Now "free" means "grab your ass, there's a rapin' in progress".

05 Nov 2012 11:39 PM
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illannoyin     
1. Get this Link

2. Use your financial aid debit card to move all the funds for a one time $3.50 fee

3. Profit

05 Nov 2012 11:40 PM
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BarkingUnicorn    [TotalFark]  

nmemkha: wraith95: nmemkha: TFA: "Higher One encourages students to choose the "credit" option when making purchases on the card (it's accepted as a MasterCard), as that method doesn't incur transaction fees."

That's bullshait. Many retailers are moving away from credit and offering debit only as it incurs less fees for them. For example, my local gas station only accepts debit on debit/credit cards. It will take a reg. credit card, but will prompt for a PIN if the card is also debit with no customer choice.

and you can't hit cancel to have it take it as a credit card? I've seen systems that default ask for your pin, but hitting cancel will run it as credit. You should try it. I bet you were either lied to or the clerk was an idiot.

I was talking at the pump payment. This is America; its a hassle pulling out the Rascal to get my heaving bulk the 50ft. needed to pay at the clerk.


I switched gas stations over exactly this bullshiat. Fark Circle K, hello Valero.

05 Nov 2012 11:41 PM
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balisane     

Yogimus: Hey sweetie, if you don't like the strings that come with your free money, feel free to give it back at any time.


I'll bite. It's BS because it's the bank getting this money, not the school and not the government.


Pre-loaded cards of any kind are total bullshiat: payroll cards, financial aid cards, the ones you purchase yourself: all crap. Why would you let SOMEONE ELSE put YOUR money into THEIR account and harvest fees and interest off of it while you pay for the privilege and get nothing at all in return?


I mean, my checking account interest is hilariously tiny, just like anyone else's, but all the money in there is mine and accessible at any time, for free. Financial aid is direct deposited. As far as i know, most schools have this option and just end up pushing for cards because it's convenient for them, because the banks make it easy. (and probably pay a consideration.)

05 Nov 2012 11:41 PM
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Lochsteppe     

Yogimus: Hey sweetie, if you don't like the strings that come with your free money, feel free to give it back at any time.


The only legitimate strings that come with the money are that it gets used in the service of your education, and that's been the case with grants for generations. This is opportunism with a light dusting of corruption.

Funny how only poor people end up with these types of "strings" to keep them humble. The banks that got bailed out for billions didn't have to accept their free money in the form of a pallet of $500 debit cards, did they?

05 Nov 2012 11:43 PM
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Rug Doctor     
In at least two states that I know of, unemployment benefits come on prepaid debit cards that have a lot of fees attached. I'm betting someone got a huge payoff for landing THAT deal for Wells Fargo.

05 Nov 2012 11:43 PM
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Rug Doctor     

balisane: Yogimus: Hey sweetie, if you don't like the strings that come with your free money, feel free to give it back at any time.

I'll bite. It's BS because it's the bank getting this money, not the school and not the government.


This is the whole point. Someone gets a sweetheart deal, and it ain't the school, the student or the state. It's the bank and the crooked official(s) who set this system up.

05 Nov 2012 11:46 PM
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fnordfocus    [TotalFark]  
ADP has been providing a similar service to replace paychecks for years.

I'll quit my job before being forced to use one. Just as an example, I'd have to go to the ATM about six times to get enough cash to pay my mortgage, then pay someone else to turn it into a money order.

05 Nov 2012 11:47 PM
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panfried     
FTFA: Levering acknowledges that Higher One charges "somewhat unique" fees to students, but he argues students still benefit from the arrangement. For example, Higher One allows all students to open a debit card account, regardless of credit history, and the account offers traditional bank account features such as writing checks and direct deposit of paychecks from employers,

There you have it. you can open a Debit card account, REGARDLESS of credit history! Plus write checks AND get direct deposit!!1 THIS is a BENEFIT! Don't even think of the lobby perks Mr. Levering is receiving, those little sacrifices of his are his burden to carry,,,

05 Nov 2012 11:52 PM
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Bossk'sSegway     
"It's like fees on top of fees!"

No dummy, it IS fees on top of fees.

05 Nov 2012 11:56 PM
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Forbidden Doughnut    [TotalFark]  

Rug Doctor: In at least two states that I know of, unemployment benefits come on prepaid debit cards that have a lot of fees attached. I'm betting someone got a huge payoff for landing THAT deal for Wells Fargo.


US Bank has a similar deal with the State of Oregon...

/ fortunately, one can opt to have the funds directly deposited into a checking account instead..
// hope that option doesn't disappear..

05 Nov 2012 11:59 PM
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maram500     
I get to speak from personal experience! Yay!

Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, LA): While I was there (2005-2009), they just did a direct deposit to my checking account every time my financial aid overpaid (which was every semester, including summers). I was employed by the university, so they were able to do the deposit without any crap because that's how my paychecks were handled as well. Every semester I just got an e-mail from the cashier's office saying funds had been dropped into my bank.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Lafayette, LA): Financial Aid was a nightmare every goddamn semester, so I just had a chat with their director, who was more than happy to cut me a university check as I sat in her office. No need for the bursar's office to get involved--I just took the check to my bank and had funds available the next goddamn day.

What the hell is all this bullshiat about what are basically gift cards?!

05 Nov 2012 11:59 PM
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DownDaRiver    [TotalFark]  
I'm amazed that a private financial institution would want to make money from people that have money in their banks.
I feel bad for these people that have to pay for a finacial institution to manage their accounts.

06 Nov 2012 12:03 AM
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el_pilgrim     
Still don't understand, UT normally is on the forefront of giving us students the short end of the stick, or 'The Big Orange Screw' to us experienced. Very happy that we get mandatory direct deposit, and if we don't have a checking account we can get one on campus at UT FCU.

fnordfocus: ADP has been providing a similar service to replace paychecks for years.

I'll quit my job before being forced to use one. Just as an example, I'd have to go to the ATM about six times to get enough cash to pay my mortgage, then pay someone else to turn it into a money order.


Not disagreeing with you, OSI Restaurants uses them and put everybody on those damn cards ( I already had DD). But what bank gives you a mortgage without any kind of account? Sounds shady to me.
/or mortgage wasn't the best example

06 Nov 2012 12:13 AM
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fnordfocus    [TotalFark]  

el_pilgrim: Not disagreeing with you, OSI Restaurants uses them and put everybody on those damn cards ( I already had DD). But what bank gives you a mortgage without any kind of account? Sounds shady to me.
/or mortgage wasn't the best example


If your employer only uses the card, and doesn't allow direct deposit, how do you move the money into a bank account without paying fees, and/or taking hours of time?

06 Nov 2012 12:17 AM
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Teresaol31     

maram500: I get to speak from personal experience! Yay!

Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, LA): While I was there (2005-2009), they just did a direct deposit to my checking account every time my financial aid overpaid (which was every semester, including summers). I was employed by the university, so they were able to do the deposit without any crap because that's how my paychecks were handled as well. Every semester I just got an e-mail from the cashier's office saying funds had been dropped into my bank.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Lafayette, LA): Financial Aid was a nightmare every goddamn semester, so I just had a chat with their director, who was more than happy to cut me a university check as I sat in her office. No need for the bursar's office to get involved--I just took the check to my bank and had funds available the next goddamn day.

What the hell is all this bullshiat about what are basically gift cards?!


Hell, Univ. of LA at Monroe has gone one better....in order to use student loan funds for the current semester to buy books from their bookstore one has to go to the student services office and ask for $x to be placed on their in-house debit card (don't forget to check your book prices before you go or you can run back and forth all day and god forbid you reserve "used" books but get shafted with "new" books due to a clerical error.) Then, if you don't use all of the money on the card (because if you are off campus are you REALLY going to use that remaining money at the on campus fast food joints and soda machines) you can't get the balance back until you graduate, and then only by request, less a hefty $12.50 processing fee! Never mind the fact that you are paying interest on money. I worked it out to within a $1, but I can see where the typically math challenged folks really struggled with this little snafu. I pitched a fit over it, needless to say. I also set aside the cash to purchase books online for the subsequent semester at prices a good 15% less than the bookstore would charge. It's absolute bull, and I feel really bad for the young, inexperienced, extremely poor students that do not have the option to work around this stupidity.

06 Nov 2012 12:19 AM
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Bathia_Mapes    [TotalFark]  

Talondel: 1) If your complaint is related to how you receive your financial aid, you are in no way, shape or form, in the 'real' world.
2) If you can't figure out on your own how to avoid bank and transaction fees, maybe higher education isn't for you?


Many of the students this is affecting are 18-19 years old and likely have not had much if any experience with bank accounts and transaction fees.

06 Nov 2012 12:26 AM
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Shadyman     

nmemkha: TFA: "Higher One encourages students to choose the "credit" option when making purchases on the card (it's accepted as a MasterCard), as that method doesn't incur transaction fees."

That's bullshait. Many retailers are moving away from credit and offering debit only as it incurs less fees for them. For example, my local gas station only accepts debit on debit/credit cards. It will take a reg. credit card, but will prompt for a PIN if the card is also debit with no customer choice.


Indeed. Credit transactions are usually charged to the merchant as a percentage (1-3% based on sales volume), whereas debit is usually charged as a flat fee (ie $0.07), which I would imagine also depends on the merchant's sales volume.

06 Nov 2012 12:26 AM
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maram500     

Teresaol31: maram500: I get to speak from personal experience! Yay!

Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, LA): While I was there (2005-2009), they just did a direct deposit to my checking account every time my financial aid overpaid (which was every semester, including summers). I was employed by the university, so they were able to do the deposit without any crap because that's how my paychecks were handled as well. Every semester I just got an e-mail from the cashier's office saying funds had been dropped into my bank.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Lafayette, LA): Financial Aid was a nightmare every goddamn semester, so I just had a chat with their director, who was more than happy to cut me a university check as I sat in her office. No need for the bursar's office to get involved--I just took the check to my bank and had funds available the next goddamn day.

What the hell is all this bullshiat about what are basically gift cards?!

Hell, Univ. of LA at Monroe has gone one better....in order to use student loan funds for the current semester to buy books from their bookstore one has to go to the student services office and ask for $x to be placed on their in-house debit card (don't forget to check your book prices before you go or you can run back and forth all day and god forbid you reserve "used" books but get shafted with "new" books due to a clerical error.) Then, if you don't use all of the money on the card (because if you are off campus are you REALLY going to use that remaining money at the on campus fast food joints and soda machines) you can't get the balance back until you graduate, and then only by request, less a hefty $12.50 processing fee! Never mind the fact that you are paying interest on money. I worked it out to within a $1, but I can see where the typically math challenged folks really struggled with this little snafu. I pitched a fit over it, needless to say. I also set aside the cash to purchase books online for the subsequent semester at ...


Bwahahahaha--! If I remember ULL's policies, if you had a balance remaining on your "Cajun Card" at the end of the semester, you were shiat out of luck and it disappeared.

And I honestly have no idea how the bookstore bit worked with UL's Financial Aid, because thankfully my scholarship provider just had an account set up with the bookstore--go in, grab your books, show student ID, fill out a simple form, and your books are paid for.

06 Nov 2012 12:30 AM
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Loren     

nmemkha: TFA: "Higher One encourages students to choose the "credit" option when making purchases on the card (it's accepted as a MasterCard), as that method doesn't incur transaction fees."

That's bullshait. Many retailers are moving away from credit and offering debit only as it incurs less fees for them. For example, my local gas station only accepts debit on debit/credit cards. It will take a reg. credit card, but will prompt for a PIN if the card is also debit with no customer choice.


And what happens when you don't have a PIN? My HSA has a card that can be run as credit or debit, I will incur fees if it's run as debit. Because of that I never set up a PIN number for it--while it's technically capable of running as debit it's utterly impossible to validate such a transaction.

Rug Doctor: In at least two states that I know of, unemployment benefits come on prepaid debit cards that have a lot of fees attached. I'm betting someone got a huge payoff for landing THAT deal for Wells Fargo.


Yes and no. Here in Nevada there was a flap about the fees--but if you're careful you can spend your money and never incur a fee. Just never touch an ATM--use it at the point of purchase, get cash back and check your balance online. You can also walk into a Wells Fargo and pull money out at the teller.

06 Nov 2012 12:47 AM
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Marcintosh     
I remember putting my checks in a checking account in a nearby bank in the mid 1970's.
It was the first time I'd ever heard of charging for Checks, setting up a checking account, check writing, check cashing, a monthly fee, so .50¢? Not so bad.

There's only just so many ways to steal from students before they spend it all on beer weed and concerts. You gotta grab that cash with BOTH hands.

06 Nov 2012 12:47 AM
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teeny     
"Account inactivity fees"????

DAFUQ???

06 Nov 2012 12:51 AM
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Enigmamf     
Goddammit if there isn't another scam waiting around every corner.

06 Nov 2012 12:58 AM
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The more you eat the more you fart     
Students already have to claim financial aid as income on their tax returns.

Isn't charging them A)interest on the loan B) a disbursement fee and C)income tax on the loan amount

enough already? Now they charge them a transaction fee on top of all of that, too?!

06 Nov 2012 12:59 AM
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Enigmamf     

teeny: "Account inactivity fees"????

DAFUQ???


Well to be precise, both account activity fees AND account inactivity fees.

06 Nov 2012 12:59 AM
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FizixJunkee     

whatshisname: Remember when bank accounts were free and you got interest on your deposits?


Yes, about six years ago. I remember the 5% APR on my savings account just like it was yesterday.

\good times

06 Nov 2012 01:13 AM
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Talondel     

The more you eat the more you fart: Students already have to claim financial aid as income on their tax returns.

Isn't charging them A)interest on the loan B) a disbursement fee and C)income tax on the loan amount

enough already? Now they charge them a transaction fee on top of all of that, too?!


You're combining financial aid and student loans into one giant thing, and what you say applies to both in reality only applies to one or the other. Student loans aren't taxable income and don't need to be reported as such. Student loan interest may actually be tax deductible. Scholarships and other types of financial aid that you don't have to repay are income. You pay interest on loans, not on scholarships, and no scholarship I ever got included a disbursement fee.

06 Nov 2012 01:25 AM
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Enigmamf     

The more you eat the more you fart: Students already have to claim financial aid as income on their tax returns.

Isn't charging them A)interest on the loan B) a disbursement fee and C)income tax on the loan amount

enough already? Now they charge them a transaction fee on top of all of that, too?!


Only the financial aid in excess of qualified expenses (tuition, mandatory fees, and books).

06 Nov 2012 01:26 AM
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Bit'O'Gristle     
But the MDC OneCard, part of a growing trend of bank cards used to disburse financial aid awards, is also criticized for the fees it carries. As banks have increasingly gotten into the financial aid business, students are paying fees such as 50 cents for each debit purchase, or account inactivity fees of up to $10 a month.

/ So let me get this straight. If you use your card..which you have to, you get a 50 cent charge. PLUS whatever the atm machine charges. If you don't use your card...they charge you 10 bucks? Sounds like they are getting raped both ways to sunday.

06 Nov 2012 01:28 AM
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