Make Higher Education Affordable

More on how college/bank deals put “students at risk”

Over at MarketWatch, Jillian Berman has a detailed explainer on a new CFPB report (our statement on the report) on lucrative deals between colleges and banks. The article’s title says it all: “Deals between banks and colleges are flouting the law, putting students at risk of paying high fees, consumer watchdog finds.”

The story also discusses related Education Department actions to protect students from problems the report identifies. The subhead: “The Department of Education warned colleges that they have a ‘responsibility to protect their students when it comes to financial products.’”

The detailed story concludes with me saying:

“A picture of your bank that appears on your student ID card and your student ID card is also a debit card — that’s a piece of advertising that these companies want,” Mierzwinski said. […] Financial institutions “want to take the chance” that their practices might flout the [Education Department’s] cash management rules, “because there’s so much money to be made,” Mierzwinski said.

We’ve long advised students and their parents to shop around for the best bank account. As the CFPB report finds, the debit card with your school’s mascot on it may not be your best deal.


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