Colleges often enter into marketing agreements with banks, which may generate revenue for the schools. According to the Government Accountability Office, at least 852 schools have agreements to provide debit or prepaid cards to their students. These marketing agreements may govern which banks and ATMs are available at convenient locations on campus, how banks can market to students, whether students can activate bank accounts using their ID cards, and how students can receive financial aid disbursements.
This letter commends the CFPB for releasing its Safe Student Accounts Scorecard, a voluntary tool to help colleges select banking partners that will benefit students. The letter recommends that the CFPB expand the list of Safe Student Account features to include low minimum balance and opening deposit requirements, rapid funds availability, a prohibition on deposit advance products, and more; ask prospective bank partners about other products they will market to students; and document the impact of the Safe Student Account scorecard.