General Question

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

What can I do about my college opening up a bank account in my name to transfer the surplus of my financial aid money to me?

Asked by shpadoinkle_sue (7181 points ) March 28th, 2011

This quarter is different than the last in which my college has given out to the students what look to be prepaid visa cards. They used to give out paper checks. Their plan is that the surplus of our financial aid money is to be put on the cards to save them the trouble of handing out the checks and to save paper, I guess, as well. The thing is that they aren’t prepaid visas. They are actual bank accounts that I can put money into and take out. They have all the regular charges fees of a bank card. My conclusion is that my college has given this bank in Texas my information and opened a bank account in my name. I’m not really happy about it and I would like to know the right way to approach this. I haven’t spoken to anyone because I’m still on break.

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8 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Talk to your financial aid office as soon as possible. Ask them what the new policy is, and if it’s your only option.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Thanks. I’m not holding out much hope though because it’s very much an “I don’t make the rules, I just work here” kind of attitude when I usually deal with them. I’ll try that, though.

MrItty's avatar

So basically you’re assuming something has happened that you don’t like, and are just going off half-cocked based on that assumption. I suggest you figure out what actually happened first, and then deal with it. For your college to give a 3rd party “all your info” would be ridiculously unlikely.

augustlan's avatar

I’d be more inclined to think that this bank account is in their name than yours. It would be really unusual for them to give your private info to a third party. Let us know what you find out!

john65pennington's avatar

If your college opened an account in your name, then someone had to forge your signature, UNLESS, in writing, you previously had given your college the authority to make such financial transactions in your behalf. Look over your admission papers to see if you gave them such authority, the day you signed into school.

cazzie's avatar

I’m sure you can call the bank where the account is held and ask what type of account it is.

Perhaps it is a type of ‘Trust Account’. We had these when I was doing accounting in New Zealand. Our firm had a special bank account called a ‘trust account’. It was audited and special procedures had to be undertaken because it wasn’t our money, but funds held on behalf of clients.

If the set up is bothering you, find out if you can withdraw the balance and put it into an account of your own with a better deal, say an interest bearing checking account with low fees for students or some such thing, if those exist.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@cazzie I had to do this with a Reliacard when I took the money out of one card and put it in my own bank account. I think this is like that only they opened up an real account in my name that I can control and put money in and take it out of.

@MrItty That is what actually happened. It’s a real bank account in my name. The debit visa card is in my name. The only thing that has the college’s name on it is the letterhead from when the card came.

@john65pennington There’s nothing about allowing financial transactions on my behalf. Thank you for the thought.

augustlan's avatar

@shpadoinkle_sue When my husband was on unemployment, they issued him a debit visa card, in his name, too. The account was only a means of getting his benefits money to him without writing a paper check. But, it wasn’t actually a real bank account… more like a prepaid card account. We could withdrawal money by using the card at an ATM, or we could set it up to immediately transfer all funds applied to the card directly to our checking account (which we did). But we couldn’t actually deposit money into an account, or write checks or anything like that on the card account. I’m thinking your situation is like this.

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