Changes to financial aid will not affect recipients

Financial aid recipients will have a new depository bank take control of their financial aid accounts “on or after May 4, 2012,” according to a notice sent out to OneAccount customers.


“It is a strategy that we have been working on and have talked about publicly for some time now, in order to strengthen our offering to customers of the OneAccount”, according to an e-mail from Higher One Media Relations’ Shoba Lemoine.


Students with a OneAccount, approximately two million throughout the country, were notified of the change via email and were given access to the updated terms and conditions according to Lemoine.


Students receiving financial aid within the Los Angeles Community College District currently use Higher One’s OneAccount to manage their financial aid disbursements, accessible with the myLACCDcard.


Currently the funds are held by The Bancorp Bank, but “on or after May 4, 2012” Higher One’s banking services will be provided by Bancorp Bank, Wright Express Financial Services Corporation (WEFSC) and Urban Trust bank, according to Lemoine.


In the notice sent to account holders, Bancorp Bank will transfer accounts and funds to WEFSC and remove itself of any further responsibility, which will change the choice of law governing the account agreement from Connecticut to Utah.


The unexpected announcement has created confusion and worry about the changes, as nursing major Adriana Reyes explains.


“I thought they put the money in and you take it out,” 19-year-old Reyas said. “I don’t want it to be a whole shin-dig, but when I first saw it I was worried.”


Students shouldn’t be concerned as nothing has changed in regards to the way financial aid is disbursed or the way money is accessed.


“The disbursement of funds for students has not changed,” Financial Aid Director Anafe Robinson said. “[The change] is seamless.”


For those worried about what will happen to their myLACCDcard in regard to this change, Lemoine wrote that existing cardholders may continue using their current card during this time, in order to provide a smooth transition.


Joel Zamora, 26, has been at Pierce for three semesters and isn’t worried about the change.


“The way I understand it, there isn’t going to be a big difference,” Zamora said.


Both Lemoine and Robinson attest the change in the depository bank will not affect the way colleges distribute financial aid and students will follow the same process they did in the past during disbursements.


The only changes student will see is that new cards issued in the future will be updated to include a new bank partner name.


Students will be informed by e-mail when their account has transferred over to the new depository, which is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.


As Higher One said in the notice to account holders, “[The change] will not change your relationship with Higher One or change the great service and innovative features you get from your Higher One checking account…we promise.”