Broome Community College in New York, part of the state’s SUNY system, and Cochise College in Arizona are the latest institutions to utilize financial services provider Higher One to electronically distribute financial aid refunds to students.
Broome is the 12th school in New York to partner with the New Haven, Conn. Company. The school currently processes and mails refund checks every Friday but that will change starting in August.
Students will be sent a card in the mail directing them to log onto a secure website. Here they’ll have two electronic options–direct deposit into the OneAccount, a no minimum balance, no monthly fee, checking account provided by Higher One, or an ACH transfer to a bank account of their choice. They’ll also still be able to receive a paper check if they desire.
Broome students also have the option of signing up for mobile alerts. A text message can be sent to their mobile phone when they receive a refund. In addition, OneAccount holders can check their account balances online at anytime and are provided tools for smart spending and tips to budget their money wisely.
Students at two-year Cochise College, which also currently issues paper check refunds, will be given similar options.
Administrators at both schools said one of the drivers in utilizing a service like Higher One’s is to reduce costs associated with the labor intensive and expensive process of issuing paper checks.
Higher One will notify students at both schools how they can take advantage of the new service coming to their campus. In addition, Higher One collects, protects, and maintains student banking information and refund preferences, distributes the refunds, handles bounced ACH payments and returned checks, and fields any refund-related customer service inquiries from students or staff.