McKendree College students will be able to have the financial aid disbursed to a new Higher One account with an associated debit Mastercard. Using Higher One’s OneDisburse program, the card is separate from the college ID card but offers full financial functionality.
MCKENDREE COLLEGE SIGNS ON TO USE HIGHER ONE’S ONEDISBURSESM REFUND MANAGEMENT SERVICE TO IMPROVE STUDENT SERVICES AND REDUCE COSTS
Higher One’s Refund Management Service will Enable Students to Receive Their Money Faster with More Refund Choices.
Lebanon, Illinois – June 2006 – McKendree College, located in Illinois today announced that they have partnered with Higher One, a leading provider of customized financial services dedicated exclusively to the higher education market to improve how refunds are disbursed to their students. McKendree College will be using Higher One’s OneDisburseSM Refund Management Service. McKendree College is one of more than 50 schools to sign on with Higher One.
Higher One continues to experience increasing interest from colleges and universities nationwide as institutions look to improve their student services and decrease administrative costs. As more institutions learn that a solution such as Higher One’s OneDisburse exists they are quickly embracing this solution to better serve their students. Some institutions have also expressed that their interest stemmed from the fact that utilizing a refund management program with an outside vendor helps the institution avoid IT and data security risks.
“This is an excellent opportunity to bring enhanced services to our students,” said Sally Mayhew, McKendree’s acting Vice President for Administration and Finance. “McKendree has a reputation for caring for its students and signing on with Higher One will add to that reputation. The new system will allow the College to improve services, giving students a faster and more convenient way to access their refunds.”
Previously, McKendree College issued and mailed paper checks to its students. McKendree College plans to implement Higher One’s OneDisburse Easy Refund Management Service, which will help the McKendree reduce administrative costs, streamline business processes, increase student choice and improve the student experience. McKendree officials believe adopting Higher One will help allocate time better in its student services department, enabling staff to spend less time in labor intensive activities like student refunds and focus on more important issues. Students will have the opportunity to use the OneAccount, a free FDIC insured checking account linked to their OneCard. If students choose to utilize this option, their McKendree College Debit MasterCards can be used worldwide everywhere MasterCard is accepted.
Higher One’s OneDisburse Refund Management Service is more than just payments; it streamlines the entire disbursement process. OneDisburse includes the handling of all disbursements, customer service, reconciliation and other time consuming functions – eliminating many costs associated with refund delivery for the McKendree College and increasing customer service for students. Higher One’s service is the only comprehensive refund management solution available today and features no setup costs, minimum involvement with schools’ IT systems, and a unique revenue-sharing benefit for McKendree College. With OneDisburse students can choose any of three options to receive financial aid and other refunds: direct deposit to the free OneAccount checking account, ACH to another bank checking account, or a paper check.
“We are happy to be providing McKendree College with a program that offers significant cost savings for the institution as well as more choices for students,” said Dean Hatton, President and CEO, Higher One. “I am certain that they will be pleased with our Refund Management Service along with our other dozens of customers.”
Leading the trend within higher education, New Haven, CT-based Higher One has become the standard of service for American higher education institutions looking for ways to improve the payment process and student experience. Higher One handles the entire process and manages any associated exceptions or customer service needs.
Over 50 colleges and universities across the country have signed with Higher One to use the company’s Refund Management Services. Since September 2002, Higher One has helped its clients disburse more than a billion dollars through over half a million individual payments.
Refund management provides institutions with an easy way to increase the percentage of payments that are made to students electronically. The desire to have payments made electronically is a growing trend that was recently acknowledged in some guidance from the Department of Education. According to ED, “Institutions are increasingly changing the way they disburse funds to students by moving away from issuing checks to transferring funds electronically.” Refund management is the easiest way for an institution to help students receive their money electronically while still allowing for the option to receive a paper check if the student desires.
ED states: “In response to this trend, several companies are offering services that include: Obtaining the student’s authorization to perform electronic transfers; Transferring the funds electronically to the student’s bank account; Opening a bank account for the student; Issuing debit cards in conjunction with a participating bank. Companies that contract with institutions to provide these types of services, in some instances, become third-party servicers. The regulations in 34 CFR 668.2 define a third-party servicer as an entity that contracts with an institution to administer any aspect of its Title IV programs. Thus, if an institution contracts with a company to perform activities that are the institution’s responsibilities under the Title IV programs, the company is a third-party servicer. In the contract between the institution and the servicer, both parties must agree to comply with all statutory and regulatory provisions governing the Title IV programs and agree to be jointly and severally liable for any violation by the servicer of these provisions. Other items that the institution and servicer must agree to are described in 34 CFR 668.25 (c). Also, a third-party servicer must submit an annual audit of the activities it performs on behalf of the institution to the Department as specified in 34 CFR 668.23 (c).”
With its sole focus on higher education, Higher One completed a third-party servicer audit prior to the release of ED guidelines.
McKendree College is ranked among the top 12 percent of “Comprehensive Colleges—Bachelor’s” in the nation by U.S.News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2006. McKendree College also is the only private college in Illinois to be named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys®. Engaged students, great teaching, a vibrant community and successful outcomes also have earned McKendree College the designation “College of Distinction.” The four qualities cited distinguish the undergraduate and graduate experience at McKendree and provide McKendree students an education of the highest quality. The college’s main campus is in Lebanon, Ill., just 25 miles east of St. Louis. McKendree also has campuses in Louisville and Radcliff, Ky. and offers off-campus programs at Scott Air Force Base and other sites in Illinois and Kentucky. For more information about McKendree College, visit the college’s Web site at www.mckendree.edu.
About Higher One
Focused exclusively on higher education, Higher One provides refund management services to higher education institutions and banking services to members of their community through a card-based solution. Higher One’s integrated solution helps universities reduce administrative costs, streamline business processes, create new revenue streams, increase student customer service and strengthen the campus community. Higher One’s refund service, OneDisburseSM, provides students with more choices and better service for receiving financial refunds. Higher One also offers a suite of banking services called OneFinanceSM, which includes the OneAccount, a no minimum balance, no monthly fee checking account, the OneCard, a Debit MasterCard® card for ATM withdrawals and purchases, and exclusive features such as “Send Money”, Easy RefundSM, and Campus AutoLoad for stored value programs. The OneFinance and OneDisburse solutions can be integrated with the institution’s ID card or provided through a separate “refund only” card.
To date, Higher One has disbursed more than a billion dollars in refunds for its college and university clients. More than 375,000 students, faculty, and staff at distinguished public and private institutions use Higher One’s services through their ID or refund card.