To help prevent students from falling victim to deceptive credit card marketing, the State University of New York has adopted several new practices under an agreement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office.
The university on Tuesday committed to Cuomo's "Student Credit Card Reforms for Colleges and Universities," becoming the first in the United States to accept the reforms, according to Cuomo's office. The State University of New York has 465,000 students on 64 campuses. Cuomo's office began investigating the student loan industry in 2007.
Cuomo's office said in a press release that last week it sent letters to all of the state's 300 or so colleges and universities demanding they submit to an evaluation of any exclusive contracts they have with credit card and debit card companies, see story.
The press release said the average college student graduates with nearly $4,100 in credit-card debt, on top of an average $20,000 in loans for students at four-year colleges.
Under Cuomo's program, schools must offer financial literacy programs to educate students on student loans, credit cards and other commonly used financial products.
Other requirements include a ban on sharing students' personal information with credit card companies without authorization, monitoring and limiting on-campus marketing, and never accepting a percentage of finance charges imposed on students.
If a school decides to enter an exclusive agreement with a credit card company that makes cards available to students, it must select a card based on the best interests of students.