Colorado State University, Fort Collins, has released a new student identification card that includes ATM and debit functionality, but not credit. The new RamCard Plus is linked to a First National Bank free checking account and Visa debit account that enables students to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted.
Some 600 cards were issued to students attending orientation this summer. Continuing students, faculty and staff can turn in their old RamCards for the new one at no cost.
“It was important for the program to offer a traditional debit card rather than a credit card to protect students against debt and to promote financial literacy,” said Neal Lujan, director of the RamCard office.
The university’s bank agreement also includes financial literacy seminars for students which will cover budgeting, investing, effectively managing credit card use, financial planning, and protecting personal finances.
According to the university, CSU is the first in the country to receive Visa approval for a product offering like this.
The card, which can be instantly issued by the university, includes a magnetic stripe and bar code for identification, a separate mag stripe for the university’s RamCash account, and a smart chip for keyless door access to university buildings.
In addition, students’ financial aid can be directly deposited to their First National bank. Students away from campus on internship or study abroad will thus be able to access their financial aid refunds through their student card.
Students use their RamCard identification card for access to meals, services, and athletic and cultural events on campus. Students with RamCards also receive discounts at several local businesses.