To the Editor: Credit card article doesn't tell whole story
Editor's note: This letter is in response to Nicholas Harrison's news article "OU cashes in $8.8M from credit-card agreements" that was published Tuesday.
The article in this morning’s Oklahoma Daily regarding student use of credit cards and financial education at the university does not tell the whole story.
In fact, the University provides financial education to students in a variety of ways, including extensive educational programs and counseling to help prevent credit card abuse and poor money management and to assist students in managing their money and credit wisely. For example:
1) OU’s Financial Education & Counseling Center provides students with free information about managing their finances, including a comprehensive credit card education program.
2) OU promotes CashCourse through the Financial Education and Counseling Center, a program that offers a variety of financial education sessions, including Dealing with Debit & Credit Cards.
3) More than half of incoming freshman students are enrolled in a 2-hour for-credit course called Gateway to College Learning where instructors teach students a unit on financial issues faced by college students, including information on financial success and the use of credit cards.
In fact, the University’s agreement with Bank of America and Mid-First Bank demonstrate that the University cares deeply about the financial concerns of students. These agreements provide critical revenue to the University that would otherwise require increases in tuition and fees.
The Daily article also omitted information provided to the Daily highlighting that almost all our credit cards and the associated outstanding balances are held by OU alumni and friends, not students. The bulk of the associated revenue stems from alumni, not students. As we all know, consumers often choose a credit card provider in order to express “affinity” for an institution, cause or other affiliation. One of our greatest strengths as a University is the size, breadth and wonderful support of our alumni. In this case, we have many alumni who have chosen to express their strong support of OU in their selection of a credit card provider.
The editor’s note introducing the article is informative. However, the Daily should further reveal the extent to which the columnist who wrote this article was also involved in the writing of the opinion piece with substantially similar content, viewpoints and omission of important facts provided to the Daily.
— Rennie Cook,
OU Alumni Association executive director