BC OneCard: One Card to rule them all

OneCardThis week, Bellevue College will be launching its initial trial run for the long awaited BC OneCard. It will replace the current student ID with a new and improved card boasting a range of new capabilities allowing ease of use by BC students.

“An ID Card system that does not cost students an additional fee has been something that I have been requesting for over a decade,” said Faisal Jaswal, Assistant Dean of Students, talking about the upcoming release.

Come this week, OneCard will be available to all Financial Aid students. BC currently plans to roll out the card for all students fall quarter 2013.

The new card will act as the student’s official photo ID, allowing them to access certain campus services and function as their library card.

Through a partnership with U.S. Bank this new ID will allow students the option to electronically deposit their financial aid directly onto their OneCard or into their personal bank account, something that no previous BC card has had the ability to do. Students can then use the card’s Debit MasterCard feature to spend funds or withdraw them at an ATM. Students will able to use the card to make purchases anywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted and allow free cash withdrawal from any U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATM. Others may also be granted the capability to load funds directly onto the card for students via a secure website when registered as a deluxe account.

Additionally, since OneCard is not a credit card, there is no chance of overspending and falling into debt.

As noted in an email sent out to BC faculty and staff, this move will “save the college a considerable amount of money as we move away from sending out paper checks.” Previously, sending out paper checks has posed several problems for students receiving financial aid.

First and foremost, it was slow; students would sometimes have to wait up to 2 weeks to receive their check in the mail then be required to wait an additional period for the bank to clear the deposited funds. OneCard will be “fast and convenient,” allowing students to receive their funds within 24 hours when deposited onto the card or within 3 to 5 days when electronically deposited into their bank account.

Secondly, it will be “much more secure.” OneCard will eliminate the risk of student checks getting lost in the mail or stolen, preventing any nightmares for students needing to buy books or pay bills on time.

Lastly, “it will save you money.” Without a bank account, the check-cashing services students have previously used to cash their financial aid checks are often associated with “hefty” and unwanted fees.  Receiving funds directly onto OneCard will allow students immediate access with no fees in almost all cases.