Higher One, a leader in providing financial services and data analytics to over 1,250 college and university campuses across the U.S., affirmed its alignment with newly released guidelines for colleges and universities regarding debit card options for students. National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), a membership organization representing more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and higher education service providers across the country and around the world, issued new guidelines that it developed following a survey of its member institutions in August.
“We applaud NACUBO for identifying guidelines that put students and their interests first when selecting a partner for disbursing financial aid and offering optional banking services,” said Miles Lasater, COO and co-founder of Higher One. “An objective voice has been long awaited and NACUBO is in an authoritative position to provide guidance to college and universities on campus disbursement and banking partnerships. Higher One is pleased to say its practices for financial aid disbursement and banking services conform to NACUBO’s identified best practices.”
NACUBO’s guidelines entitled “ Safeguarding Student Finances: Guidance for Campuses Offering Student Debit Card Options” are designed to keep students first and include best practices such as:
- Encourage students to use financial institutions, since those with bank accounts can typically better manage their money, do not have to carry large amounts of cash, and can benefit from the convenience of debit cards and transaction records.
- Offer students the right to choose their banking relationships. Institutions should ensure that students have sufficient information available to allow them to be informed consumers.
- Encourage electronic refunds because electronic transactions are faster, safer, less expensive and more convenient.
- Comply with the U.S. Department of Education’s regulatory and administrative requirements for the Title IV federal student aid programs.
- Negotiate low or no fee options and convenient services for students. Educate students to be informed consumers of financial services, and publish clear and transparent fee schedules. Agree to a communication plan to ensure students are presented with a fair explanation of services.
- Select a financial services partner through a competitive process and engage students in the vendor selection process.
“We founded Higher One as students and aimed chiefly to provide more choice to students while making institutional business processes more efficient,” continued Lasater. “We have been providing our services to students and institutions for more than a decade and it is validating that our company ethos is well aligned with today’s guidelines from NACUBO.”