Financial services provider Higher One has signed up three more institutions–two universities in Oklahoma and a technical college in Wisconsin–all which will soon begin utilizing the Connecticut company’s financial aid disbursement program.
With the company’s OneDisburse Refund Management system, students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford and Sayre, Okla., Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, and Northwest Wisconsin Technical College’s campuses in Green Bay, Marinette, and Sturgeon Bay will begin to see a faster turnaround on their financial aid money. More importantly, most students will no longer have to stand in line to receive their refund checks.
With Higher One’s services students at the three schools will be sent a co-branded debit card in the mail that they can use to access funds. Each student then visits a secure Web site to verify his primary email and mailing address. Once confirmed, the student simply selects how he would like to receive his refunds from the school. The options include: direct deposit to the OneAccount, a no minimum balance, no monthly fee, FDIC-Insured checking account provided by Higher One, or an ACH transfer to another bank account of the student’s choice.
Higher One also trains staff on how to use the service, markets it to educate students on their options, collects and protects student banking information and refund preferences, distributes refunds based on each student’s refund preference, handles bounced ACH payments and returned checks, fields any refund-related customer service inquiries and provides staff with access to online real-time reports.
Southwestern Oklahoma will begin distributing refunds under the new system during the summer of 2009, while Northwest Wisconsin Technical and Southeastern Oklahoma will start with the spring semester.
“We know students are always anxious to get their refund checks, and our process of producing and mailing checks in the past has been both inefficient for staff and inconvenient for students,” said Clark Wagner, director, Revenue and Student Finance at the Wisconsin school.
“By partnering with Higher One, our students will now have options they didn’t previously have,” he added. “Students will no longer have to continually check their mailboxes or call staff to inquire about their check status. They’ll get their refunds quicker, be notified immediately when they are disbursed, including via text message, and have access to customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Higher One.”
“Anything that takes the lines away sounds like a pretty good deal,” said David Clark, bursar at the Oklahoma university.