Okay, I don’t know if anyone actually reads the newspaper anymore, but if they do they may have read the article in yesterday’s Herald Tribune.  This article, “Debit Card is raising questions on campus,” by Ylan Q. Mui, addressed the topic of the Higher One Refund Card. 

In a nutshell, some students across the country have begun to express their dissatisfaction with the fees associated with using the Higher One Card for student refunds.  Some of the fees include a .50 cent charge for using the card as a debit rather than using it as credit (which accrues no fee).  I’m not going to recap the entire article (but I will include a link to it at the end of this blog).  Here’s my advice.  You always (in most cases) have options.  With any kind of financial offer you should carefully examine the details.  In my case, I opted to have any refunds I receive go directly to my own bank account.  This is information is available, and while the option is not that easy to see right away, it is there.  There are pluses and minuses.  Having my money deposited to my personal bank account takes a few more days, and I don’t have the money “in minutes” as Higher One advertises.  Regardless of what you prefer, this is an important article, and every student should be aware of it.  The “fine” print is always “fine” for a reason.  The bottom line, most of the time the only person looking out for us is ourselves.  Personally, I have the tendency to be an extremely trusting person, and for the most part I’ve never had any major problems living my life in this fashion.  But I’ll tell you when I’m not so “trusting:” money matters.  Having the money in “minutes” can sometimes mean that you’ll have less to show for it in the long run.  Fifty cents here and there adds up.  So please read the article, and decided for yourself what option is best for you.

The article originated at The Washington Post, by Ylan Q. Mui, and was printed in Monday’s Herald Tribune:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/03/AR2010100304579.html