Secretary DeVos Launches Innovative Pilot at Four Universities for Students to Access Financial Aid Refunds

Secretary DeVos Launches Innovative Pilot at Four Universities for Students to Access Financial Aid Refunds

February 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — Federal Student Aid launched today the myFSApay program pilot for students at Jackson State University, Purdue University, the University of California-Riverside, and the University of Georgia. This innovative pilot will allow students at the participating schools to choose to receive their financial aid refunds—after expenses such as tuition, fees, and room and board are paid—on a prepaid card with a linked online account accessible through the myStudentAid mobile app.

Traditionally, when students receive more federal student aid than is billed by their institution, they have been able to receive their remaining financial aid refund via direct deposit, check, or on a prepaid debit card. The myFSApay program pilot provides students with a convenient alternative. The myFSApay account either reimburses or does not charge fees for the most common types of transactions in stores and at ATMs. Students can use the account to pay for other educational expenses, like transportation, books, food, and supplies, and they can, for example, deposit checks from an employer or parent into the account and complete peer-to-peer payments.

There is no cost for students or schools to participate in the pilot. The Department selected the four institutions, in part, based on the schools' participation in the federal student aid programs, large student body, and geographic location. Additional schools will be added throughout 2020.

The pilot will be implemented initially by Fiserv and Metabank, which were selected based on the quality of their past performance in the campus card market, fit for the program, and technical capabilities. In its evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot, the Department will receive aggregated data from Fiserv and Metabank, such as the percentage of students receiving financial aid refunds that sign up for and activate the card; data will not be provided until a substantial number of students are enrolled in order to protect their privacy. Additionally, the pilot implementers are not permitted to cross-market other services or share students' information with outside parties.