Higher One lawsuit may affect local college students


POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, October 6, 2014 - 12:18pm

The country's leading provider of college campus debit cards is settling a $15 million lawsuit because they were over charging students. Tyler Junior College is one of the many colleges across the country that use this debit account. Certain students who had a higher one account between march 2006 and august 2012 may get a refund. Reps for TJC said they're not sure if any of their students will receive these refunds, but those signed up are not too happy with what's going on.

"It makes me feel like their taking advantage of the students," said TJC student Alejandra Serrano.

Dozens of students across the country filed class-action lawsuits in 2012 against Higher One. The company was charging students for ATM access fees, pin based transactions as well as account maintenance and inactivity charges. Tyler Junior College began working with Higher One in August of 2008.

Director of Public Affairs for TJC Fred Peters said between the period of the lawsuit, 9600 students created an account. But, the number of students receiving a refund, the college doesn't know.

"It's a banking relationship. Once that account is established by security laws, we don't have access to that information," said Peters.

Since the lawsuit, Higher One is working with the Department of Education to reduce and eliminate certain fees, streamline the process and make it more transparent.

"Everyone who is eligible for a refund should have been contacted by some fashion and then informed of the process for receiving that money," said Peters.

TJC students said they have no other choice but to use Higher One to get their money back. But, all of this makes them very uneasy about their financial aid.

"I understand people being angry, getting upset about not getting the right amount of money and it kind of upsets me. I wonder how those people feel getting cheated out of their money," said TJC student Jada Neal.  

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