BGSU puts credit card use on a short leash

From the things-the-university-does-to-piss-people-off Department:

The university changed its policy on accepting credit cards, effective July 1. Students charging their tuition either online or by telephone will be faced with a 2.5 percent convenience fee. Credit cards won't be accepted at the bursar's windows anymore, and VISA won't be accepted at all.
Source: Toledo Blade

I really didn't know anything about this until a letter to the editor was published in this weeks BG News.

So I had to find the Blade article myself. And then I went to the Bursar to talk to them. I had a bill to pay anyways.

So why are they dropping VISA? "Nearly $700,000 in fees paid by the university to credit card companies over the past year, said Gaylyn Finn, associate vice president for finance."

I never looked at the angle of accumulating Frequent Flyer miles. Earning cash back on tuition payments is just smoke screen. Either from the Toledo Blade reporter or BGSU, to try and explain why it is costing too much to accept credit cards, specifically VISA.

But I don't understand dropping VISA. Sure they probably gouge the U. for transaction fees. But what is $700,000 going to mean in the long run? I want to see the percent of payments to the Bursar with VISA right now. It must be a lot. That means its a lot of people that are gonna be irritated by this news.

They will no longer take credit card payments at the window in the Bursar's office either. You will get a 2.5% charge if you use Mastercard or Discover (online only) or pay by phone. This is a "convenience fee." What, is the U. Ticket Master now?

So I can't pay with any credit card at the window at the Bursar's office now. Now that's convenience if I ever saw it.

I personally like to pay my bill with my bank's check card, which happens to be a VISA. I can no longer use this. Not after July 1 anyway.

So the Bursar obviously wants people to pay online now. Yet for paying online you are going to be penalized for paying online. The U. is using a third party for online Bursar payments (the interface is nothing to write home about). Are we being penalized this 2.5% "tax" because of this third party's fees to the University?

I talked to a few people in Student Publication about this change. One point was brought up about putting tuition on a credit card so that you can pay it off a bit at a time. Thats a good point. Now not only will you have to pay the interest on the credit card, but also pony up 2.5% of your Bursar bill too.

The short of it seems like it is going to piss a lot of parents and students off. That must be worth at least $700,000 to BGSU.

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