New debit card for financial aid users

By Karlvyn Louis-Charles
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Students used to getting reimbursement checks from the business office will be surprised this February, because starting Feb. 4, Valencia will distribute financial aid refunds through a new debit card system.

The debit card will utilize the direct deposit banking feature, allowing students to receive their refunds within an hour disbursement. This will make funds more easily accessible and will be the only reimbursement option offered by Valencia.

“If a student absolutely wants a paper check they will have to go through Higher One, the company we’re using for the debit card. Basically what could happen is after 21 days, if you don’t choose a refund option, they will automatically mail out a paper check, so the student will have to wait an additional 3-4 weeks if they want a paper check,” said Kisha Peart, a business office specialist on Valencia’s East campus.

The new system allows students to receive funds within hours after the business office has released them instead of weeks under the school’s past policies. Valencia plans to have all cards mailed out by the end of this month.

This won’t be the first semester Valencia has used the system. Valencia students with flex-schedules starting in November or December of last year have already received their funds through the new debit card system. Once the student has received the debit card through the mail, the next step is to activate it at

The activation process is a simple one. Just type in your new debit card number and click the “Get Started” link on the page. Once you have personalized your account with information like your Valencia ID, social security number, and birth date, the next step is choosing a refund option. This would be by either setting up an account with Higher One and using their debit card, or having the funds transferred to your pre-existing checking account, using the ACH transfer refund option.

Kisha Peart from the business office stated, “We do recommend the debit card only because you will get your funds faster. So on Fridays when we disperse at 12 o’clock, by 12:30 or 1 o’clock students will have access to their money on their debit card.”

If the ACH option is chosen, steps involving the student’s bank account number and bank name are then added to the process. “If students choose their bank account, they do have to wait an additional 3-4 days.”

The new debit card system should help make the reimbursement process simpler and faster for both the students and Valencia College.

Photo by Russell P. Griner / Valencia Voice