Sep 07, 2014 07:44pm
Student ID card levels up
Date: 
December 5, 2013 - 4:46pm

Your EvCC ID card is getting a lot more versatile.

Starting winter quarter 2014, students can opt into a new EvCC ID card, which will now double as a US Bank pre-paid MasterCard debit card, allowing students to receive direct deposits from the Financial Aid office instead of waiting for a check in the mail.

“[This card] is about students being able to get financial aid disbursement faster without having to worry about a [financial aid] check taking a long time in the mail or getting lost,” said Susan O’Guin, Executive Director of Finance at EvCC.

Students who don’t opt into the ID card will still receive an old fashioned paper check in the mail; however, the actual direct deposit of financial aid funds onto the new cards won’t start happening until spring quarter 2014.

There is also a no cost deluxe version of the card, which allows parents or employers to deposit funds. Students just need to give their Social Security number when signing up for the debit card.

“There’s no monthly fee, there’s no signup charge, there’s no way to overdraft,” said O’Guin. If you try to spend beyond your account balance, the transaction will be denied with no penalty.

“We didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t a win for the students,” O’Guin said. “So it has to be a free choice [and] it has to be free for all of the regular stuff you want to do [with a debit card].”

There are some catches, however. If students use their cards at an ATM other than a US Bank ATM, they will incur a $2.00 fee. If students go into a US Bank and talk to a living, breathing teller more than once, they’ll also incur an undisclosed fee.

If students want to use the card as a middle-man to get financial aid faster and deposit funds into their own bank accounts, that can be done without having to pay a fee as long as the withdrawal happens at a US Bank.

EvCC and US Bank have partnered with BECU to waive the ATM fee at the on-campus BECU ATM machine in the Parks building, although O’Guin prefers that students go to an actual bank instead of the on-campus ATM in order to withdraw funds since the campus ATM only holds a finite amount of cash.

Financial aid students know the stern warning letter that comes with their financial aid check every quarter, telling students to spend money on books and school supplies instead of blowing it all on non-school related purchases (like videogames!), but the college says it won’t be using the new ID cards to track student purchases.

 

Highlights of the new Student ID card:

The Basic Account:

Option for students to have electronic distribution of Fin Aid funds instead of a paper check same-day’ funds availability - Instead of waiting for check to come in the mail
No minimum balance
No monthly maintenance fee
Account cannot be overdrawn
Can be used everywhere MasterCard debit is accepted
Fee-free in-network ATM Access – U.S. Bank and MoneyPass $2.00 if
used by another domestic ATM
Fee-free bank and credit union teller assisted cash access 1 Free per month
Online and mobile banking functions
FDIC insured + purchase security and fraud protection
Student self-loading - cash to card

Deluxe Account: All of above plus:

  • Online loading from parents, sponsors or other students
  • ACH Direct deposit loads from employer, trusts, govt agencies

 

“Everything is confidential. We don’t see anything about the transactions. [Transactions] are just between you and the bank, and there’s no monitoring or tracking of how people spend their financial aid,” O’Guin said.

Jennifer Rhodes, Director of Student Activities, says to be patient during the winter quarter debit card rollout. She said to prepare for lines to be longer while the students at The Paperclip get acclimated to creating the new cards and to “bear with us with this brand new system.”

The new debit card system will also be self-sufficient, with US Bank giving the college a small percentage every time a new card is registered. Rhodes said that these funds will roll back into maintaining the card issuing equipment and buying supplies such as blank debit cards.

EvCC also hopes younger students and students with credit issues will use the new cards as a ways to build a rapport with a bank. After students leave EvCC they can continue to use their US Bank account outside of college.

“You are guaranteed a bank account, and that is pretty cool,” Rhodes said.

 

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