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Credit cards discouraged at one Iowa university

If you want to use a credit card to pay your tuition at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, be prepared to pay more. In addition to the 4.11% tuition hike, which recently went into effect, students will now have to pay an extra 2.75% surcharge if they use a credit card.

With a tight economy and budget cutbacks, it’s another way colleges and universities are looking for ways to save money. In the past, the university absorbed the annual $250,000 cost for allowing students to use cards, but President David Maxwell said the university can’t afford that anymore.

“It’s part of the operating budget, and this is passed on to all students in the form of tuition,” he said. “By doing this, it will be the people who choose to pay with a credit card who are paying the charge, not everyone else.”

But some students aren’t too happy with the plan.

“A 2.7% fee is ridiculous, especially if it’s like $1,000 for your tuition,” commented one student.

Obviously, the surcharge is forcing most students to switch how they pay, either with a check or debit card.

According to the Times-Delphic, Drake’s student newspaper, the National Association of College and University Business Officers said that 28.7% of payments to universities and colleges are via credit card. At small institutions such as Drake, 24.3% of payments are made through credit cards.

Read more here.

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