Colleges hit credit card payers with junk fees


For nearly every business on the planet, the 2% fee charged on credit card payments is just another cost of doing business.

Not so for colleges, which are implementing policies that pass that fee on to their students and the parents who pay tuition. The USA Today reports that "Starting Wednesday, students at the University of Southern Maine who pay tuition using plastic will face a 2.75% processing fee. Other schools that have adopted, or are adopting, similar policies include George Mason University, Northwestern University, Wichita State and the University of Virginia."

Colleges that don't have these fees are seeing some savvy parents dropping 5-digit college expenses onto credit cards and then paying them off immediately -- stumbling into a airline miles bonanza in the process. On the other hand, rising college costs have some students putting their college tuition bills on their credit cards. In 2008, students charged an average of $2,200 in educational expenses to credit cards, up 134% from four years earlier, according to Sallie Mae.

Now those students will be in for a Supersized college ripoff: Lacking the cash to cover their expenses, they'll put them onto their credit cards -- and pay $200 in extra fees for the privilege.

But the college don't really care about that -- They just want their money.