Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Report: Higher One seeking buyout

Friday, August 3, 2012

Higher One Holdings is seeking a buyer and has contacted private-equity firms, said three people with knowledge of the discussions, according to a Business Week report.

Higher One is using Goldman Sachs Group to canvass potential buyers, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is private.

Ken Goff, a Higher One spokesman, said it’s the company’s policy not to comment on “rumor or speculation.”


In May, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in a report that campus debit-card programs sometimes charge fees that are “unnecessary and unfair” and that the companies use “aggressive” marketing.

Earlier this week, Higher One released a statement that it aims to make its checking account fees and terms more transparent and simpler for consumers to understand and that it would follow recommendations made by the Pew Charitable Trust that calls for financial institutions to standardize their disclosure forms.

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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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Higher One has opened the application process for its annual Financial Literacy Counts grant program. The grant program, which supports campus-based financial literacy education programs and initiatives, is open to any accredited, non-profit college or university in the U.S., with an independent review committee comprised of higher-education administrators selecting the recipients.

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The Malta government is set for a major renovation of a smart card system that is used to process student grants.

The student smart card was originally intended to help with costs for educational materials but over time students have been able to purchase any consumer products, including sportswear, footwear and eyewear.

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