NEWS

June 25, 2012: Letter to Drake Community

Welcome to the new My Drake Account tab in blueView! In this tab you will find information on Student Account Services, Bulldog Bucks, eSuds, Parking Tools, Tutorials, and more. We encourage you to view the tutorials and set up your Payment Profile and Authorized Users. By setting up your payment profile information and clicking the eRefund check box, you can deposit refunds electronically into your account. Please note if you have received refund checks by direct deposit in the past, as this set-up must still be completed.

To access tutorials press Ctrl + Click on the following:

You will also be able to set-up authorized payers in the new system. Authorized Users can be parents, guardians, employers, etc. Authorized Users can view all real-time data and make payments. Please understand that authorized user information will no longer be available via the parent blueView and you need to create new authorized users through your My Drake Account.

To access tutorials press Ctrl + Click on the following:

Fall 2012 statements will be available in late July; at that time you can make payments or setup a payment plan on your account for the Fall Term. In the meantime we encourage all students to become familiar with the online system, including the My Drake Account tab, and to set up their payment profiles and Authorized Users.

To access tutorial press Ctrl + Click on the following:

We are excited to bring you these enhanced billing and payment services. Please take advantage of all options Drake University has available. If you have any questions regarding these features or anything related to your student account, please contact us.

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June 13, 2012: Letter to Drake Community
Drake University Student Account Services is sending this as a reminder for the new e-Bill, e-Pay, e-Refund, and Payment Plan options.

My Drake Account
As of Monday, June 25, 2012 students will notice a new blueView channel labeled My Drake Account. In that channel students will be able to view all activity posted to the account in real time and make payments on the current account balance.

Tuition payment plan

Fall 2012 statements will be available in late July. If interested, students and families can sign up for Drake’s payment plan at that time for a $30 fee per semester. Tuition payment plans help families budget for tuition and fees by spreading the cost over four months during the term. Tuition and fees are due the first day of the semester unless the account is enrolled in the payment plan.

Online payments

In addition to My Drake Account in blueView, payments can also be made from the Student Accounts website in one of the following formats:

· Credit card: Credit transactions are conducted through PayPath, which accepts American Express, Discover, and MasterCard. PayPath does not accept VISA. Credit card payments can only be made online. A 2.75% ($1.50 minimum) convenience fee will be assessed.

· Debit card: Debit card payments are permitted, without assessment of any fee. Some bank debit cards have chosen not to participate in such online debit transactions; please check with your individual bank if you are able to make online debit card payments.

· Electronic check: Electronic check payments are available, without assessment of any fee.

Alternative payment methods

Although we encourage you to take advantage of our online services, Drake University’s Cashier’s Office accepts payment by cash, check or debit card in person during regular business hours. Students and families can also mail check payments to:

Drake University
115 Old Main
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311

Future updates and guidelines will be sent to Drake student email addresses and posted to Drake University’s Student Accounts website. Feel free to contact us now or in the future with any questions.

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April 30, 2012: Statistic Information

Universities across the country have found the processing fees and industry regulatory compliance associated with credit card payments to be cost prohibitive. Many Universities have reacted by no longer accepting credit card payments and others have outsourced the function with a convenience fee assessed to cover the processing costs. Of Drake’s 25 peer and competitor universities, most outsource their credit card payments, including 15 who have contracted with Drake’s partner TouchNet; 3 do not accept credit card payments for tuition at all. None of the 3 Iowa public universities accept credit card payments for tuition.

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April 19, 2012: Q&A

On Tuesday (April 17, 2012), the Office of Student Accounts notified you via e-mail of several new tuition payment options that will go into effect June 15, 2012. One of the changes that has prompted questions is the University’s decision that credit card payments toward student account charges will no longer be accepted directly by Drake. The University will partner with TouchNet to provide that service.
Drake’s recent announcement about our new partnership with TouchNet spells out the two primary benefits of this change:
• Provide more payment options for student accounts
• Enable the University to allocate a greater portion of student tuition dollars to instruction, programs and services for Drake students

Below is a series of questions and answers related to the University’s new credit card payment process and the reasons behind this decision:

Q: Why did the University decide to make this change?
A: The University has been spending more than $250,000 each year to pay bank credit card fees, which result from students or parents paying tuition, room, board and/or fee charges with credit cards. These credit card fees are part of the University’s expenditure budget, which is funded by student tuition. In order to keep tuition costs as low as possible, the University regularly examines its costs to determine what activities and functions might be handled more cost effectively. In order to treat all students and parents fairly — so that those not paying by credit card are not subsidizing those who are — the decision was made that Drake will change the manner in which it collects credit card payments for the payment of tuition/fees.

In addition, all businesses that accept payment by credit card are required by banking regulations to provide an annual compliance certificate that verifies that all credit card data is appropriately safeguarded. The ability to ensure this compliance and the potential for non-compliance fines and penalties are increasingly difficult to manage in a university environment. Fines begin at $5,000 per violation to $500,00 per month. It is much safer for all concerned to have credit card compliance managed by an expert in the industry.

Q: Who decided to make this change?
A: As noted above, the Division of Business and Finance regularly examines costs and the allocation of resources; the CFO recommended this change to the President’s Cabinet who ultimately approved it.

Q: How and why was TouchNet selected as the University’s credit card vendor?
A: Drake accounting staff had conversations with several service providers, and consulted with other colleges and universities that had previously decided to “outsource” credit card processing. We ultimately received several proposals and determined that TouchNet provided products and customer service that would best meet the needs of the Drake campus community.

Q: How much was Drake paying each year in credit card fees?
A: Drake has been spending more than $250,000 each year to pay bank credit card fees which result from students or parents paying tuition/room/board/fee charges with credit cards. These credit card fees are part of the University’s expenditure budget, which is funded directly by student tuition.

Q: What happens to the savings generated from changing to TouchNet?
A: The funds previously used to pay credit card fees will go back into the FY13 budget to provide additional funding for instruction, libraries, technology, other academic support and student services. For example, in the FY13 budget, funding has been increased to pay for staffing for the Underground Fitness Facility and for expanded student disability services. The savings will also help fund capital improvements to Cowles Library, upgrades to various science laboratories, and the completion of the lower level of Olmsted renovation — just to name a few.

Q: If I choose to pay for my student account charges using a credit card, what is the new process?
A: To pay by credit card, you will log into your student account online. You will be automatically routed to the TouchNet secure site, which will accept your credit card payment and assess a convenience fee of 2.75% on the transaction amount ($1.50 minimum).

Q: Does Drake receive a portion of the convenience fees charged and collected by TouchNet?
A: No, Drake does not receive any portion of the convenience fee. The majority of the convenience fee goes to the credit card companies.

Q: What credit card charges are subject to the convenience fee?
A: Any credit card payment applied to student account charges will be assessed the convenience fee. Examples of student account charges include (but are not limited to): tuition, room, rent, board, fees, parking registration, parking fines, other student fines, Bulldog bucks, and eSuds.

Q: Will tuition deposits, housing deposits, and seat deposits paid by potential students be subject to the credit card convenience fee?
A: No. Only credit card payments on student account charges are subject to the convenience fee.

Q: Why aren’t VISA credit cards accepted by TouchNet?
A: VISA’s internal credit card policies prevent it from being accepted by TouchNet and similar third party providers. VISA debit cards will be accepted by TouchNet (with no fee), subject to individual bank restrictions.

Q: Will credit cards, including VISA, be accepted at the SBA Bookstore in the Law School?
A: Yes. The TouchNet change only impacts credit card payments for student account charges.

Q: Are debit cards subject to a convenience fee?
A: Debit cards, including VISA debit cards, may be used to pay student charges (subject to individual bank restrictions) through TouchNet with no convenience fee.

Q: What other student account payment options are available through TouchNet?
A: As outlined in the e-mail to students on April 17, 2012, numerous payment options are available to students and parents. Credit card is only one option. As noted above, credit card payments will be subject to the 2.75% convenience fee. Debit card payments are not subject to a fee. ACH (e-check) payments are also an option and are not subject to a fee. Alternatively, TouchNet offers a convenient payment plan option. TouchNet will also allow us to implement mobile applications for student account information in the very near future.

Q: Are other colleges and universities also making this change?
A: It should be noted that many colleges and universities across the country do not accept credit cards. Many others have partnered with a vendor (like TouchNet) to provide the credit card option to students/parents while eliminating the credit card fees previously incurred by the college/university.

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April 16, 2012: Letter to Drake Community

Drake University is excited to announce policy changes that will provide students with a greater array of secure payment options for tuition account transactions and enable the university to allocate a greater portion of tuition fees toward student instruction, programs and services. Students and authorized users will continue to be able to pay online, however there are new payment options.

We are now offering the option of payment by electronic check! E-check payments are free of any fees and allow individuals to transfer funds directly from their checking or savings accounts.

The increasing costs of processing credit cards has made it necessary for Drake to find a way to manage these expenses and still provide as many payment options as possible. As a result, credit card payments toward student charges will no longer be accepted directly by Drake University. At the same time, Drake recognizes that many students and families appreciate the convenience of using a credit card. Therefore, rather than eliminating payment by credit card entirely as an option, we have partnered with a third party, TouchNet, to provide their on-line PayPath Tuition Payment Service. This change will go into effect June 15, 2012.

Credit card associations have strict policies and guidelines in regard to how convenience fees can be applied. These guidelines require all payment methods to be treated equally. These restrictions also limit our options for offering more than one payment method via any PayPath service simultaneously, unless the same convenience fee is applied to all payment types. Visa has strict policies against the use of a percentage-based fee (including the use of tiers). Therefore, Visa is not accepted in the PayPath Service. TouchNet is extremely confident that our model meets all association requirements as outlined by the individual card associations’ operating guidelines.

TouchNet PayPath service has been certified compliant with credit card security regulations, ensuring continued security for authorized users’ financial data when processing credit card payments. As part of this service, PayPath will assess a convenience fee of 2.75 percent on the transaction amount ($1.50 minimum). Drake University does not control this fee nor does Drake receive the proceeds from this service.

TouchNet PayPath methods of payment: (available through blueview and link from Student Accounts website)

•CREDIT CARD – PayPath accepts American Express, Discover and MasterCard credit cards. PayPath does not accept VISA. Drake will not be able to accept credit cards as a method of payment. Credit card payments can only be made online using TouchNet PayPath.

•DEBIT CARD – Debit card payments will be permitted without assessment of any fee. Some bank debit
cards have chosen not to participate in such online debit transactions; please check with your individual bank
if you are able to make online debit card payments. Debit card payments can only be made online using TouchNet PayPath.

•ELECTRONIC CHECK – Electronic check payments will be available, without assessment of any fee.

Although we encourage you to take advantage of these online services, Drake University’s Cashier’s Office will accept payment by cash or check in person during regular business hours. Students and families can also mail check payments directly to:

Drake University
Old Main 115
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311

In addition to these payment options, Drake University will offer students and families convenient installment payment plans. Tuition payment plans help families budget the cost of tuition and fees by spreading out the cost over a number of payments during the term.

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