By Lindsay Haislip
Starting this year, WC has implemented a new program called ManageMyID, in which students use an online resource to load their ID with money to make purchases on campus.
Controller Penney Farley, who oversees the ManageMyID system, explained that there were several reasons for implementing the change, students and parents being the main factor behind the decision. “For several years now, we have had an abundance of parental complaints that students were charging too much and parents had no knowledge of what was happening until it was too late. The only solution was to then turn off the ability to charge,” said Farley.
It also made sense to make the change for financial reasons, according to Farley. “The college has been working to control costs by using technology when and where appropriate,” she said. With the old system, much of the work had to be done by hand. “With limited human resources and cost savings made in supplies (paper, envelopes, stamps), we wanted to identify new ways to manage this time and labor-intensive system that might even improve the service provided to students,” said Farley. ManageMyID was an efficient way to implement a solution to the previously existing problem.
There have been mixed emotions about the system so far on campus. Many students were frustrated when unable to charge to their card because they were unaware of the new system.
Sophomore Katie Derosa said, “I find it to be a hassle to be honest. I might as well use my credit card, but I can see how it would be a better way to track how much money you are actually spending.”
Sophomore Carolyn Bevens said, “I’m sure my parents are a fan because I’m not spending money directly from their credit card, but I think it does help you get a sense of your finances and know how much you’re spending.”
Sophomore Molly Lech agreed, saying, “It’s a good thing, because then my parents don’t get mad at me.”
Junior John Menzione, was a little wary at first, but said, “it’s a good idea, because this way you’re not overspending and are able to manage your money well without getting a huge surprise bill in the mail at the end of the year.”
“The student feedback has been very positive once the registration process was initiated,” said Farley. She also said that the parent feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
There has also been great support for the “guest” function that allows extended family to contribute funds as well, according to Farley. So far, there have only been three complaints; one from a student, and two from parents.
Ultimately, the business office feels that this was a good change for the college. The most frequently asked question so far, according to Farley, has been about “whether expected financial aid can be transferred to MMID. The answer is yes, once the credit balance Transfer Authorization Form, available on-line at (http://businessoffice.washcoll.edu/downloaddocuments.php) has been completed, signed and submitted to Debbie Bergen in the Business Office, the quick transfer of funds has not been an issue”, she said.