If you didn’t get the message from the many posters and notifications last semester, hopefully you didn’t learn the hard way that as of January 1 2011, UFV is no longer accepting credit cards from domestic students.
While initially many students felt annoyance at the change, the fact that UFV will save nearly half a million dollars by the move has pacified most. These savings will help UFV cope with rising inflation. Jackie Hogan – Chief Financial Officer at UFV – said: “the money saved from not paying ‘merchant fees’ on credit card transactions will now stay in the university, where it will be used for education and service delivery to students.”
Of course, many who aren’t eligible for student loans and don’t happen to have several grand sitting in their chequing accounts have found the switch inconvenient. However, there are other options; for instance, if you can secure a personal loan through your financial institution, the interest may be “much less than a credit card company would charge.”
Paying with debit, or straight from your bank account online, are other popular choices. And, if your credit card is really the only financial resource you have, you can always get a credit card cash advance or use a credit card cheque to pay for tuition – though, Hogan warns, “there may be additional financing charges with these options.” Furthermore, the bookstore will continue to accept credit cards for textbooks, supplies, etc.
If there is one thing students get, it’s tightening belts. There has been anything but a riot over the move; says Hogan. “Overall, the change seems to be understood by most and accepted as a significant way to save costs while not minimizing services.”
While it doesn’t seem likely to Hogan that any other such major changes will be coming soon, the institution is “always considering efficiencies and cost saving opportunities that will allow the university to provide the best education and service possible while maintaining a balanced budget.” Certainly, it is encouraging to see UFV is keeping students’ best interests in mind in such troubling economic times.