Financial Aid and the Higher One Card

Getting ready for the school year is like Christmas – except I hate Christmas (I don’t use “hate” very often, but Christmas just does not resonate well with me), so it’s like…getting to go on a trip. I enjoy the hell out of traveling.

So today, after the writer’s workshop thingo, I went to the Dollar Tree and looked at their pen and paper selection. Then I went to Office max, and did the same thing, though I looked at Kindles and the like. I got swept away by the excitement of To-Binder-or-Not-To-Binder in the up-coming quarter (I decided against it’. I’ll destroy the poor thing).

I went around to every pen sample station and tried out pens – none of which were what I looked for in a pen but hey, one of my greatest pleasures is putting pen to paper, so it tickled me just a little.

I looked at folders and dividers, recycled paper and spirals, keyboards for my iPad and a mouse for my laptop.

I breathed in the scent of all the supplies a girl could want (except shoes. They seem to be lacking in the shoe area), and wished for my Financial Aid to come in.

Well, technically I have access to it. for my 2013/2014 year I was allotted enough to cover tuition and books, with a couple hundred left over for supplies. I’m going all out. I might just get my supplies for this quarter and next with it, or save the money and use it for lunches at school.

They sent me a card that links to a Higher One account, a thing set up by students for students in 2003. Basically it’s like a credit card, but for your Financial Aid, or anything school related. You can add money to it, as well. It seems like a neat idea, however unless you use the right ATMs – that is, the correct ones at the school, or any other school that uses Higher One – there’s a $5 fee for any action you do – including checking your balance (on the non-Higher One ATM, that is). If you use it as a debit card anywhere there’s another fee, and if you put money into it, there’s a fee. I’m wanting to say there’s a fee for even putting my Financial Aid into it.

I’m still learning about it.

I’m in a bit of a dilemma at the moment, since I can get my Federal Aid deposited to my already existing normal credit union account, with a slight uncomfortable hitch. I have to print out a piece of paper (I’m out of printer ink, and can’t afford any more at the moment), sign it to state that this is what I want to do, and mail it off to the East Coast to the Higher One head quarters – or whatever. This piece of paper will have my banking details on it, which makes me uncomfortable.

It takes a few days to arrive and take effect, so if might be leaving me a bit last minute with my supplies and books, which also makes me nervous. I asked some friends on Facebook their thoughts that had experienced this card, and all but one highly recommended the direct deposit with the exception of one, who I do put a great deal of faith into.

I’m searching at this point for a WCC student forum to ask other students what they’ve thought.

Either way – I’m about to go on my journey! Only two and a half weeks!

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