Colleges’ deals with banks scrutinized

Kylie Lacey's picture

As thousands of students prepare to flood college campuses, the government’s consumer watchdog is urging universities to disclose how much money they receive when banks promote debit cards, prepaid cards and checking accounts on their campuses.

Regulators say the terms of the accounts being offered to students are not always clear, and some are riddled with fees. Rather than presenting unbiased information to students, they say, schools are getting paid to act as middlemen for financial partners, a potential conflict of interest.

In recent weeks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent letters to 10 of the country’s largest universities — all Big Ten universities, Ohio State University included — urging them to publish the terms of their contracts.

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