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Editorial: Save your students some money

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Cosumnes needs to re-evaluate their terms with Higher One bank.

Note: This story is an updated version of one run earlier in the semester.

Higher One, the bank that Cosumnes River College and many other colleges in the United States use to give students their financial aid award, is nothing but a big hassle.

There is nothing worse than when a company tries to say they care about college students and helping them make the most of their money when they actually do the complete opposite.

Sure, there are some positives about the company, like the ability to receive financial aid through direct deposit instead of having to wait for a check in the mail and the fact that you can use the card almost anywhere, but the list stops there.

Whenever someone slides their debit card to purchase an item, Higher One charges an extra 50 cents to their account as a transaction fee.

This may not seem like a lot of money, but say you shop four places in one day, that is $2 gone.

Other ridiculous fees include $19 a month for inactivity, a $25 fee for transferring money to another account and a $2.50 fee when you take money out of a non Higher One ATM, according to Higher One’s website.

If Higher One was just a normal bank, their actions may not be so upsetting, but the fact that their website claims to want the best for students while simultaneously scamming money from them is what makes the situation so irritating.

“In an age when the other guys are cutting student-focused programs, we are constantly striving to roll
out new and different ways to offer you more,” Higher One’s website says. “After all, we’re a company founded for students, by students and we’ve never forgotten our pledge to give you more choices and better value!”

Anyone who has dealt with Higher One for even a semester knows that this statement is total bull.

Besides the difficulties that all students face when dealing with Higher One, CRC and other Los Rios campuses face additional issues with the company.

The ATMs at the campuses hardly ever work, leading to students not being able to withdraw money without visiting another bank’s ATM.

Higher One points the finger for the ATM malfunctions at the Financial Aid Offi ces and vice versa, resulting in nothing being
fixed.

It’s pretty hard to avoid being charged the $2.50 for withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM or the 50 cent fees for swiping as a debit card when you cannot access your money.

Conspiracy? Maybe.

While CRC and Los Rios have adopted Higher One and its fees, other colleges have fought for their students.

Portland State University and Southern Oregon University negotiated to stop the debit fees that students are charged when re-signing their contract with Higher One in 2011, according to The Oregonian.

Higher One made $66 million just from fees charged to students in 2010, according to The Oregonian.

While it is ultimately students’ responsibilities to manage their money, being bombarded with unfounded fees is not helping anyone.

It is time for students and administrators to stand up to Higher One and demand changes to their contracts or find a
new bank.

This controversy is not going away.

There is even a Facebook page titled “Fuck Higher One” completely dedicated to exposing their wrongdoings and urging them off all college campuses.

The company is constantly being investigated and sued.

Recently, they agreed to pay out a $15 million settlement to students in response to claims that their marketing tactics and fees were predatory, according to Michigan Live Media Group.

Higher One outright admitted to preying on college students. It’s clearly time to expose this wolf in sheep’s clothing and get the company off of Los Rios’ territory.

We invite all students and faculty to join us in asking our campus leaders to take a stand for each and every one of us against Higher One.

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Editorial: Save your students some money