The growing trend on campuses nationwide is seeing students outfitted with smart ID cards. For all the benefits that smart credentials offer, however, there remains at least one concern for students: cost.
At Miami University, replacement and repair costs for smart student credentials levies fees of $35 and $10 respectively. But according to The Miami Student it’s a cost that the institution’s card office believes is worth it.
Miami uses the smart cards as student room keys on campus; a utility that the university believes offers additional security and convenience. Under the institution’s previous door access system, when a student lost their room key, the room had to be re-keyed – a process that was laborious, required more materials and was significantly more expensive.
The transition from Miami’s old credential to the new, smart cards has helped to alleviate these costs. For students with old, non-smart ID cards, Miami’s Housing Options, Meals and Events (HOME) office will swap out the card free of charge. Fees arise when the student loses or damages their card.
A not-for-profit university, Miami’s card office insists that the replacement and repair fees go directly to the costs of ID printing, card readers, door access maintenance and program reinvestment. But as an alternative to the smart cards – and a possible remedy to the replacement fees – students have expressed an interest in using their smart phones to as a substitute.
College students are rarely separated from their phones, and placing the student’s credentials on their mobile device may help to eliminate the risk of losing or damaging a card. In addition to eliminating the fees associated with lost or damaged cards, mobile credentials could also cut university maintenance and labor costs surrounding smart ID cards.
According to Miami’s card office, the university is investigating the possibility of using smart phones in place of smart ID cards, though no formal plans are in place to act on this request. University officials want to be sure that the technology is available and is advanced enough to uphold Miami’s standards of safety for its residence halls, students and their account information.