Banks Pay Colleges Substantial Sums in Royalties, Fees, When Students Use Debit Cards, Etc., When Colleges Market Banks to Students

by Jeff Sovern

During the Obama administration, the Department of Education adopted a regulation obliging colleges and universities to disclose their contracts with banks governing marketing to students as well as how much the schools receive from the banks. The WSJ went through those disclosures and reported on their findings in an article, Banks Pay Big Bucks for Top Billing on College Campuses.  Here's an excerpt:

The banks get to set up marketing tables at campus events, advertise their products in mailings to students and are promoted as the school’s preferred banking option.

In return, the banks pay the institutions royalties, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and often based on the number of new accounts. Some schools also get paid each time students use their debit accounts, or earn a cut of the ATM fees. * * *

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Banks and universities say the programs offer an optional convenience, allowing students to link their campus identification cards to banking services.

Consumer watchdogs say a bank’s presence on campus or co-branded marketing materials could lead students to think it is their best or even only option for banking at school.

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