Anderson University recently partnered with Higher One, the technology and payment services company, to electronically distribute Financial Aid and other refund disbursements to students through the Easy Refund Card. The program was launched in July.
Prior to the launch of this new program, approximately 70% of AU students received their refunds via an internal Automated Clearing House (ACH) program that Anderson University developed. The remaining 30% of students received their refunds via paper check. AU found this process to be very inconvenient for students, the Business Office and cashiers. Paper check refunds became very tedious for administration due to the printing of checks, following up on stale checks, and long lines at the cashier’s window. In addition, AU was using various resources to maintain personal student banking information for their ACH program.
Anderson University first heard of Higher One through a nearby institution. “A colleague at another school spoke highly of the OneDisburse® Refund Management® process with Higher One, so we began to explore it,” explained Dana Stuart, Assistant Treasurer and Controller at Anderson University.
Since July, students have received the Easy Refund Card in the mail with instructions on how to log onto a secure website and select their refund preference. With the Easy Refund Card, AU will now offer students more electronic options including the OneAccount, a free, no minimum balance, no monthly fee, FDIC Insured checking account provided by Higher One or ACH to a bank account of the student’s choice.
The Easy Refund Card is accepted worldwide at various locations where MasterCard is accepted. Mobile alerts, email notifications and online bill pay are just a few additional features of the EasyRefund Card. Parents also have the ability to deposit money into their student's Higher One checking account. Additionally, after a student graduates, he or she may choose to continue using their Easy Refund Card, continuing their affiliation with Anderson University.
Stuart and the rest of Anderson University are very excited about this new refund option. “We are expecting greater customer service for our students and more efficient processing in the Business Office and cashier’s window. We feel that the Easy Refund Card is a real plus for our students that we didn’t have the ability to offer ourselves,” said Stuart.
About Higher One: Founded in 2000, Higher One, Inc., a subsidiary of Higher One Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ONE), is the leading company focused on helping college business offices manage operations and provide enhanced service to students. Through a full array of services from refunds, payments, electronic billing, payment plans and more, Higher One works closely with colleges and universities to ensure students receive Financial Aid refunds quickly, can pay tuition and bills online, make on-campus and community purchases, and learn the basics of financial management.
Higher One provides its services to distinguished public and private higher education institutions throughout the country to approximately 4.8 million students. More information about Higher One can be found at HigherOne.com.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.