Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

With off-campus programs, more can be better

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Programs flourish when multiple campuses share merchant network

Just a few short years ago, allowing a university’s campus card to be used off campus was a no-no. Fears about losing precious on-campus income to merchants surrounding the campus prevented many universities from taking the step.

But as Jason Tiede, director of Blackboard’s off-campus program, BbOne, says they now have become the norm. “It’s unique if you don’t have one. Besides, students want it. They want the expanded services, such as late night dining, weekend offerings, delivery and gas. It’s not so much they want something that’s physically away from campus, they want those services that a school otherwise couldn’t provide on its own.”

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Off-campus programs for campus IDs can pose a significant value to students, but are often limited to large chains and franchises. But Western Kentucky University is offering students a refreshing change of pace by allowing them to spend their discretionary dollars at the local farmer’s market.

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Universities nationwide have embraced the off-campus capabilities of their ID cards, opening the door for vendors to offer their services to the student population. The result of these efforts is a growing roster of merchants and a rather impressive list of discount opportunities.

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