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UNCW to use Higher One's OneDisburse Refund Management Service

Andy Williams   ||   Sep 22, 2005  ||   

The University of North Carolina Wilmington has become the 32nd school to utilize Higher One’s OneDisburse Refund Management Service that provides an easier and more cost-efficient way to handle refunds.

Higher One Solution to Provide Comprehensive Refund Management Services That Reduce Costs and Increase Customer Service

Higher One, a leading provider of customized financial services dedicated exclusively to the higher education market, has announced that the University of North Carolina Wilmington has signed on to use Higher One’s OneDisburse Refund Management service. UNCW is the first school in North Carolina to use Higher One’s services, making a total of 32 schools across the nation to use Higher One’s Refund Management Program.

At a time when universities are handling an ever increasing amount of refund disbursements, Higher One’s program will provide UNCW a completely new, easier and more cost efficient way of handling refund disbursements. In fact, Higher One will handle all refund disbursements, related exception handling and customer service for the university. The university will be using the OneDisburse NonID card, which will also offer the approximate 10,500 undergraduates the opportunity to utilize a free FDIC insured checking account called the OneAccount through Higher One, while also serving as a Debit MasterCard that can be used worldwide anywhere MasterCard is accepted. UNCW expects to complete setup of the new electronic funds disbursement, card and banking program by December.

“We are delighted that UNC Wilmington has decided to become the first school in North Carolina to sign on with Higher One,” said Dean Hatton, President and CEO, Higher One. “More importantly, we look forward to providing them with a Refund Management service that not only alleviates costs but also makes the process a breeze for their students and administration.”

Higher One’s OneDisburse SM Refund Management Service is more than just payments; it streamlines the entire disbursement process. OneDisburse includes the handling of all disbursements, customer service, reconciliation and other time consuming functions - eliminating many costs associated with refund delivery for the university and increasing customer service for students. Higher One’s service is the only comprehensive refund management solution available today and features no setup costs, minimum involvement with schools’ IT systems, and a unique revenue-sharing benefit for the university. With OneDisburse students can choose any of three options to receive financial aid and other refunds: direct deposit to the free OneAccount checking account, ACH to another bank checking account, or a paper check. No matter which method the student uses, Higher One handles the entire process, making the payment and managing any associated exceptions or customer service needs.

“Knowing first hand what Higher One’s Refund Management service has done for many other campuses across the country, we believe their integrated solution will provide us with a much more streamlined way to process financial refunds and increase services available to our students, all while providing a financial savings to the university,” said Kay Ward, senior associate vice chancellor of business affairs at UNCW.

“I believe that this program will be a great resource for our students. Especially for those students on financial aid, it will make their access to financial aid funds more flexible,” said Bradley Ballou, president of the UNCW Student Government Association.

Higher One provides every client with program management to ease the setup process. Once up and running, Higher One services include the management of student refund preferences; collection and archiving of ACH authorization forms; exception handling; refund returns; rerouting of checks; refund reversals; reconciliation and archiving; customer service; and online reporting of refund statuses.

Higher One has been providing Refund Management services to colleges and universities across the US since 2002. Higher One’s program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX generated $240,000 in net cost avoidance in the first semester alone, and after subtracting the initial costs of establishing a card office - produced about $400,000 in gross avoidance for the year. The State University of West Georgia and Kennesaw State University have both documented substantial, measurable impacts on the institutional operations and were presented with the “2004 Best Practices Award” for their setup of Higher One’s Refund Management service by the State University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

Thirtytwo colleges and universities across the country have signed with Higher One to use the company’s Refund Management Services. Since September 2002, Higher One has helped its clients disburse almost $700 Million dollars through more than 475,000 individual payments.

About Higher One
Focused exclusively on higher education, Higher One provides refund management services to higher education institutions and banking services to members of their community through a card based solution. Higher One’s integrated solution helps universities reduce administrative costs, streamline business processes, create new revenue streams, increase student customer service and strengthen the campus community. Higher One’s refund service, OneDisburse, provides students with more choice and better service for receiving financial refunds. Higher One also offers a suite of banking services called OneFinance, which includes the OneAccount, a no minimum balance, no monthly fee checking account, the OneCard, a Debit MasterCardr card for ATM withdrawals and purchases, and exclusive features such as “Send Money”, Easy Refund, and Campus Autoload for stored value programs. The OneFinance and OneDisburse solutions can be integrated with the institution’s ID card or provided through a separate “refund only” card.

To date, Higher One has helped its clients disburse almost $700 Million dollars through more than 475,000 individual payments. More than 250,000 students, faculty, and staff at distinguished public and private universities use Higher One’s services through their ID or refund card.

About UNCW
Located between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is committed to becoming the best undergraduate teaching university in the South. An internationally recognized undergraduate marine biology program, coupled with its $17.5 million Center for Marine Science, has put UNCW at the forefront of research to learn how the world’s oceans affect human health and quality of life. In addition, the university has a critically acclaimed Creative Writing Department that attracts Pulitzer Prize-winning visiting writers and a growing Film Studies Department that works closely with Wilmington-based EUE Screen Gems Studios and other productions filmed locally, such as One Tree Hill and the new NBC series Surface.

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