By Shirlett Warren/editor-in-chief
More than 60,000 TCC Choice cards will be mailed to TCC students, giving them a new way to receive financial aid refunds, said director of business services Kathy Crusto-Way.
In June, TCC partnered with Higher One, a financial services company founded to provide banking services to higher education institutions.
“The cards will function as a MasterCard debit card and give students an option to open a checking account with Higher One,” Crusto-Way said.
An announcement introducing the card was posted on the college’s website Sept. 14. Students who open a checking account with Higher One will receive refunds immediately. Students can also continue to receive refunds through their existing checking accounts or have the refunds sent via direct mail.
“The refund process eats up time and administrative resources. It was more efficient for us to contract it out [to Higher one],” she said.
Even if students wish to decline using the TCC Choice card, they will still be required to create a user profile with Higher One indicating how they wish to receive refunds.
“I’d rather get the money myself in my existing checking account,” said NE student Cameron Bench. “It’s more convenient.”
Crusto-Way said many students don’t have a full-service checking account.
“One of the main goals is to educate students on exactly how to use the card,” she said.
Higher One is scheduled to install 10 ATMs across the district. Each campus will have two ATMs, so students can use their TCC Choice cards without a fee, Crusto-Way said.
“Or they can go to the website and find other ATM locations,” she said.
The Higher One website gives detailed information about the benefits of opening an account with them, including a page dedicated to explaining Higher One’s expressed goal to help students with money management. Higher One services more than 830 higher education institutions throughout the country.
“We’ve heard nothing but good things about them,” Crusto-Way said.