Two years ago, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) was going to enter a partnership with Higher One, a company that provides students with a different way to manage their money. After considering student input, TAMUK decided against it until further deliberation had been made.
TAMUK has now announced that they will be partnering with Higher One beginning in Summer 2014. Starting May 28, funds received from TAMUK (grants, loans and scholarships) will be processed through HigherOne. However, students on university payroll will still receive that money on their current direct deposit method said Mari Ybanez, Business Technical Coordinator of TAMUK.
“They still have a choice. They can use the Higher One card and that’s a choice. But they can still choose to deposit it to their bank account, or they can choose a paper check,” said Lallah Howard, Comptroller and Associate Vice President for Finance of TAMUK.
To make this choice, however, students will still need to activate their Higher One cards first, but they will have to wait two to three business days for their money if they choose to deposit it directly to their personal bank account or five to seven business days if they choose a paper check.
“Originally, when schools started going with Higher One, students were forced to transfer their money onto their cards. When we signed up with (Higher One) two years ago, with the agreement that the A&M system had with Higher One, they said… we’re not going to have the money deposited into the accounts for (the students) and force that on (them),” Ybanez said.
Because it is the student’s choice, it is essential that they go online and update their information, Ramirez said. This way, there won’t be a delay in the refund process because the card gets lost in the mail.
A card and a packet will be mailed to each student. The information on the card is necessary in order for the student to let the university know of their preference, Howard said.
If students choose to use their My One card, they will need to be aware of certain fees associated with the card, including a $ 0.50 PIN-based transaction, a $2.50 charge for using a non-Higher One ATM and a $25 stop payment fee. Though the specifics of TAMUK’s agreement are still not released, Higher One provides a general fee schedule that students can look at for more information: https://www.higheroneaccount.com/info/outfees.jsp.
“We will certainly make sure students know that there could be fees attached to the use of the Higher One card,” Howard said.
The My One card is not a credit card. If a student decides to open an account with HigherOne, it becomes a debit card attached to a bank account. Through HRConnect, they can then create a new direct deposit method with their new account and routing numbers, Ybanez said.
Ybanez said there is a marketing campaign in the works. TAMUK will be using multiple venues to raise awareness about the change, including through Marketing and Communications, Facebook, Twitter, student e-mails, The South Texan and the university website. Tables will also be set up in the Student Union Building, the Jernigan library, the dining halls and the dorms.
The business office staff is being trained to handle queries regarding the My One cards, Ybanez added.
“We’re training our staff to be able to answer these questions so if we have a student coming up and asking specific questions, everyone needs to know the same amount
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of information,” she said. “We’re really working on ourselves to be able to help the students accurately and have those answers the first time around.”
Editor’s Note: Due to a misunderstanding of the information, this story needed to be corrected. Therefore, there are some changes from the print edition of this story. This is the accurate information. We apologize for any confusion caused.