Colorado colleges cash in big on credit deals

9:02 AM, Sep 19, 2010   |    comments
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By selling coveted mailing lists that can number into the hundreds of thousands of names - and even include athletic boosters and school donors - the schools have set up a never-ending stream of revenue that takes little more than a signature to feed.

Some schools even get a percentage of every credit-card purchase or debit-card transaction a student or alumnus makes, according to copies of the deals reviewed by The Denver Post.

Colleges say they're merely helping students learn financial responsibility; banks say they're simply offering a needed service and funding; critics contend it's just another way to make money on the backs of individuals already burdened by an economic slump.

"Young people are the future. If a bank can get them at the beginning, it's long-term marketing," said Gale Hillebrand, chief counsel at Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports. "The debt treadmill is designed to generate revenue for years."

Read the full story from the Denver Post.

(Copyright 2010 The Denver Post)

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