Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

When paying USF tuition, Visa is out and credit card fees are up

Starting Aug. 15, USF will no longer accept Visa for tuition and fees and students using any other credit card can expect a 2.5 percent processing fee on the bill, a change from USF’s previous flat fee of $10.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Starting Aug. 15, USF will no longer accept Visa for tuition and fees and students using any other credit card can expect a 2.5 percent processing fee on the bill, a change from USF’s previous flat fee of $10.

If you're getting ready to pay tuition at the University of South Florida this semester, think twice before pulling out the plastic.

Starting Aug. 15, USF no longer will accept Visa cards for tuition and fees. And students using any other credit card can expect a 2.5 percent processing fee on the bill, a change from USF's previous flat fee of $10.

The change is necessary, said university controller Jennifer Condon. The $10 did not come close to covering costs, she said. Last fiscal year, USF paid $800,000 out of reserve funds to make it possible for students to pay tuition on a credit card, covering everything from processing fees to software to employee wages.

"We do believe that it's going to be cost-justified at the end of the year," Condon said. "I do believe that 2.5 is fair."

How will the new structure affect student wallets? For a resident undergraduate student enrolled full time on USF's Tampa campus, tuition is about $6,400 for two semesters. A 2.5 percent fee would come to $160 per year, or $80 per semester. It would be more for out-of-state and graduate students.

USF sent an email to students informing them of the changes and asking for feedback.

"When you're paying tuition, that can be hundreds of dollars," said senior Jennie Robinson, 20, riding her bike away from her job at USF's Career Center on Tuesday. "I guess they're doing it to discourage using credit cards, and I understand that."

One card in particular is totally off the table for now — Visa. The way USF processes percentage fees doesn't mesh with Visa's requirements, Condon said. USF officials were investigating ways to adjust the system, possibly in time to bring Visa back for spring if enough students asked for it. Visa is still accepted around campus at shops and restaurants. For tuition and fees, USF will accept MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

"Nobody on campus has an American Express," said Hebrew Marcelin, a 23-year-old junior. "That's for business owners."

For a college student, Marcelin said, a hundred dollars can mean everything from groceries to car payments to gas money. His friend Emmanuella Foucault had to pay some tuition last semester on a Visa credit card, she said, because her financial aid didn't cover all her costs.

What would she do this time?

"I don't know," said Foucault, 22. "Do they take money orders?"

They do. To avoid paying the new fee, students can use "convenience checks" issued by credit card companies, cash advances or money orders. Students can pay by checking accounts online through USF's Oasis system. Or, they can pay cash.

The changes come at a time when USF president Judy Genshaft has called for a boost in university reserve funds, depleted during years of state budget cuts. Genshaft wants reserves to increase by 5 percent throughout the year, calling the funds critical to the university's health.

Other universities have made similar changes when it comes to credit cards, USF officials said, citing the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, Ohio State and Penn State as examples.

USF students can still use any card and pay the $10 fee until Aug. 15.

"We're hoping that they take advantage of the few days," Condon said. "Some people just have Visa cards and they need time to redirect and make a change."

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at shayes@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3394.

When paying USF tuition, Visa is out and credit card fees are up 08/07/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.