Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Higher One adds new checking account options

Friday, March 2, 2012

Higher One expanded its checking account options for college students. Previously checking accounts were only offered to current customers but new customers can now have immediate access to three checking account choices tailored to suit the banking behavior of college students.

The new checking account options include no PIN fees, a specified number of foreign ATM fee reimbursements and access to online budgeting tools that can help students track their spending and set budgeting goals.


“The additional checking account options that we are announcing were very popular with current customers and we are making them available to new customers in a direct response to the needs that have been expressed to us,” said Miles Lasater, Higher One COO.

He said the checking accounts are FDIC-insured with no minimum balance requirement. The checking accounts are linked to a debit MasterCard, not a prepaid debit or credit card, Lasater added.

The company’s OneAccount is part of Higher One’s refund management disbursement service that handles financial aid to students at more than 500 U.S. college and university campuses. [end] 

A study has revealed a clear need for greater and more differentiated financial literacy education in the K-12 environment.

The “Money Matters On Campus” report, now in its second-year, polled some 65,000 first-year college students across the country. In addition to the need for an early financial understanding, survey results indicate that colleges and universities should provide financial education at the onset of a student’s college experience to better ensure that students will make sound financial decisions later on. The study was conducted by Higher One and education technology specialist EverFi.

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Regulatory action is being proposed in the campus-banking sector, with the U.S. Department of Education releasing its first draft of regulations on campus debit cards that will effectively prohibit certain fees, constrain marketing practices and institute transparency regarding the college-card provider relationship.

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The Department of Education released an initial draft of proposed changes to the Cash Management portion of the regulation governing title IV financial aid funds. The document includes a series of provisions that would dramatically impact the ways campuses could distribute funds to recipients, so much so, that in essence it would effectively outlaw some common card-based solutions.

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Banking partnerships and financial aid delivery under scrutiny

Zack Martin, Editor, Avisian Publications

In February 2014, the General Accountability Office released a report on debit and prepaid card programs on college campuses, urging the U.S. Congress and Department of Education to take action.

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