It helps to have friends in high places, or at least those who have experience with the service you’re attempting to sell. That was one of the reasons Texas’ oldest county-owned two year institution, Blinn College in Brenham, chose Higher One to handle the school’s refund disbursements. The college becomes the 21st in Texas to sign up with the New Haven, Conn.-based financial services provider.
What helped seal the deal was that one of Blinn’s administrators had first hand experience with Higher One’s service. “In addition to the extensive research Blinn College performed before selecting Higher One to process its refunds, I have firsthand knowledge of what Higher One can do for students,” said Jeff Cermin, the college’s associate director of business services. “I carried a Higher One card while completing my M.B.A. at Sam Houston State University, and I used the debit card feature to access some of my student loans. We’ll let Higher One deal with bad addresses and lost checks while we focus on serving our students.”
The Higher One partnership with Blinn College will enable the school to issue refunds to the institution’s 14,000 students.
“We are pleased to offer this new service to our Blinn College students for their convenience in handling their financial transactions,” said Dr. John Harris, vice president for student services, Blinn College, a two-year school entering its 125th year of operation.
With Higher One’s OneDisburse Refund Management service, the college will send Higher One a flat file containing the names for all students who are scheduled to receive a refund from the institution and the amounts for each refund. In addition, Blinn will wire Higher One the total amount of the disbursement.
Higher One will collect student bank account information, market the program on a regular basis, distribute the refunds to students, handle any returned checks or ACH bounce backs, and field any refund related customer service inquiries.
“Blinn College processes over 16,000 refunds by check and EFT every year,” explained Cermin. “I think we do a very good job of getting refunds into the hands and bank accounts of our students. However, I believe that Higher One can do the job efficiently and quicker than we can.”
With Higher One, every student is sent a card in the mail. Students use this card to log onto a secure website to select how each would like to receive a refund from the school.