Feel like you have been shorted or screwed by Higher One on your student refunds recently?

Representatives from Higher One Inc. will be in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall today for two open forum sessions at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Randy Hawkins, Higher One’s director of the West Region, and Darryl Siefker, a Higher One relationship manager, have flown out from California to listen to students’ personal experiences with Higher One in an effort to make their system better.

“We are looking to clear up any misconceptions or answer any questions that students may have about the company or the program or the process involved,” Siefker said in an interview. “It’s really a completely open forum so anything that students want to bring we are more than happy to address.”

Hawkins said that the open forum aims to provide students with an open venue to feel like they are getting answers. He said that Higher One conducts these open forums at many of the universities that they supply refunds to based on needs expressed by that university.

This open forum with Higher One, the financial and banking agency that issues refunds to UM students, follows several reports by students to UM Business Services that they encountered problems receiving their refund checks or money. Last month they underwent an investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that addressed how they are handling student bank accounts and financial procedures.

“Higher One and UM Business Services need to hear about issues that students are having in receiving their financial aid reimbursements,” Zach Brown, ASUM president, said. “If students want their money handled differently, and if they want to be treated differently as a Higher One customer, then they should come voice their concerns. And if they love Higher One, then they can come tell them that.”

Higher One Inc. will be providing students at the University of Montana with student refunds through 2015 when its contract with the University is up for renewal.

“What we are looking to do is address how we can make [Higher One] work the best for this campus and we want to hear from administrators and students,” Hawkins said. “We want as many people to show up as possible.”


(1) comment


As a Higher One representative, it was a pleasure to get on campus and engage with students during our open forum. We think the dialogue was helpful to clear up some misconceptions and also to talk about how Higher One does offer cost-free choices for students to receive their refunds. It was a low turnout for the forum--we had hoped to reach more students, but certainly worth it. Looking forward to attracting more students next time around!

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