Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

College debit cards expanding

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Campus cards with debit functionality are catching on among universities, according to this article in Nebraska’s Lexington Clipper-Herald, which calls the card “a must-have accessory.”

About 2,000 U.S. campuses now issue such cards, which can be used to purchase books, items from vending machines and almost anything else with a price tag.


However, the MavCard issued by the University of Nebraska at Omaha is not a true debit card because students there did not request that a banking relationship be added to the card, said a university spokesperson. Instead, money is placed in an account at the university’s MavCard Services Office.

The card went off campus for the first time last fall. Ten stores now accept the card.

Meanwhile, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, students, faculty and staff can link their card to a Wells Fargo Bank checking account to make purchases on and off campus. The card also can work as an ATM card.

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Contract changes and expirations have caused a crunch for University of Chicago students looking to top up their ID cards with laundry funds.

The University removed cash-to-card machines from residence halls at the beginning of this academic year, leaving students with just two locations at which they can reload their ID cards for laundry. Now, rather than having machines located in residence halls, the students must report to two central locations, a campus convenience store and Bartlett Hall, a highly trafficked building that contains a dining hall, and other student resources.

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College students enjoy a number of perks and discounts thanks to their university affiliation, with one of the most common discounts, particularly for urban campuses being public transit.

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At Quinnipiac University, students use their campus card and QCash to pay for groceries, laundry and takeout orders, but a slow transaction process and higher fees have some local merchants turning their backs on the student ID card.

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Apple’s recent iPhone 6 launch was a big deal for tech junkies the world over, but could this latest iPhone release redefine the campus card as we know it? Could the iPhone 6 actually replace the ID card altogether?

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