Card fees stink

Midland College students were recently surprised when they received an email announcing a fee would be charged to their student ID card bank accounts.

The accounts have been a controversial subject since they were introduced; many students did not like being required to go through an extra account to access awards and refunds credited to them. The ID cards are mandatory for MC students and include an attached checking account, alternately direct deposit must be set up to receive credit from MC.

Herring Bank hosts the accounts for the ID cards MC students are required to have.

A dormant account fee (after 180 days of no account activity) will result in a $10 per month fee, mailed cashier’s checks are $10 each and a non-ATM cash advance is $4 per transaction.

“Ifyou have not made a transaction (deposit or withdrawal initiated by you) in the past 180 days (six months) your account is considered to be in a dormant status,”stated the email from Herring Bank. “Once your account is considered to be dormant, a fee of $10 a month will be assessed to your account, if sufficient funds are available, until one of the following occurs: you initiate a withdrawal or make a deposit to your account; or your account remains in a dormant status for a total of 365 consecutive days. If your account remains dormant for more than 365 days, no further charges will be assessed on your account. The dormant account fee will not make your account negative or result in an overdraft fee.”

If a student is aware of the fees and balance of the account, problems should be avoided. The amount of misinformation circulating after the announcement was staggering and students were concerned. The card is required for being a student at MC. Some students felt that a fee on a card linked to the account is unfair to the holders of the card and the method of handling the fee announcement was ineffective.

“The Chap Card serves as a passport to college events, Student Government entertainment, Fine Arts Series programs, dances, movies and video tape series,” according to the MC website. “It provides identification in the Murray Fasken Learning Resource Center (library) to enable students to check out materials and to use the computer labs available in the library and at the Midland College Advanced Technology Center. It is also required at the bookstore for scholarship identification.”

A $25 fee is charged for replacing a lost or stolen card. A Chap Card account or direct deposit information is required to receive refunds or monetary rewards at MC.

“Midland College and Herring Bank have teamed up to offer you a convenient, one-card solution with the Chap Card” stated “The Chap Card is a multi-functional Student ID which allows you to open an optional checking account at Herring Bank that offers free access to Herring Bank ATMs and to make no-fee purchases at merchant locations that accept MasterCard or PIN-based transactions.”

This situation is confusing and frustrating for students who was aware of the new fees and caused undue frustration among students who might be unaware of the conditions of the ID card accounts.

The fee announcement should have been more concise and clear in the first place.

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