New college debit-card program may have students shouldering the burden

10.31.10 – A new debit MasterCard that some Colorado community college students complain charges them fees just to access their financial aid wasn't originally part of the proposal state administrators were set to approve.

The company behind the debit card system bought out the firm about to win the lucrative state contract, then worked the debit card back into the deal.

The company, Higher One, did that by dangling an irresistible incentive to a cash-strapped state: It offered a $1.1 million computer software program for free in exchange for including the fee-driven cards.

The Colorado Community College System review panel that approved the deal had rejected Higher One’s debit card proposal early in the bidding process, ranking the Connecticut company last among eight firms vying for the lucrative multi-year contract, according to state documents reviewed by The Denver Post.

Read more: New college debit-card program may have students shouldering the burden – The Denver Post

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October 31st, 2010

Staff Reporter

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