Friday, April 17, 2009

University Debit Card

My university is starting its own debit card. Called the "OneCard" it is supposedly a great way for students to manage their finances.

It is not a credit card. It is a debit card, with a MasterCard logo so it is universally accepted. Instead of waiting for University refunds to be mailed to a student, refunds will automatically just be placed into the student's OneCard account.

Family members can load more money into the account online. All they need is the students ID number and email address.

I am pretty sure this makes things a bit easier for the University. Financial Aid money, book refunds, class refunds and the like will simply be placed into the OneCard account.

This is a no fee checking account - except there are no checks. Debit only. The account has no minimum balance requirements.

At the website, there is actually a page titled "It's my budget and that's that!". On this page, there is a sample budget and an excel spreadsheet you can download to start your budgeting journey. There are other tips and information regarding finances. Although it doesn't go into great detail, it is better than nothing.

I don't know how I truly feel about this. The University is sending one out to all students automatically. If I get any refunds or financial aid, the money will be placed directly into my OneCard account. If I want to get cash out, I must use an ATM and pay the fees associated with that machine. The webpage does not say whether or not the OneCard has its own fees associated with ATM withdrawls.

One thing that I am kinda interested in seeing is how to transfer funds onto the card. In this regard, instead of bringing in thousands of dollars in cash to pay my tuition, I could just transfer the funds onto the card and use the card to pay tuition. (I don't write checks for this purpose because they take a long time to clear - and while waiting to clear, you still can get tuition holds onto your account which makes registering or withdrawing from classes a nightmare)

I guess I will see how this card works for me, personally. I am not really sure how I would use it, unless they have plans to institute a bank on campus for these accounts.

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