By Mia Fulwood
Spectrum Copy Editor
The Gold Card was a prepaid Discover card offered to Bowie State students in previous years. It served as an alternative for students to receive their refunded money on the card, instead of having a paper check mailed home.
The idea for this form of direct deposit came from the Bursar in the Student Accounts office, Terrayne Pittman. She wanted to come up with a faster way for students to get their refunds, thus the Gold Card was started. The refund process was the same, but it was a free option for both the students and the university.
Since the card was made by the Discover company, a well-known card service, students could use it wherever they wanted. After signing up through their Bulldog Connection accounts, approving the release of funds on the Gold Card, like with any other debit card, students were able to withdraw their refund money from ATMs, but for free.
Bowie State sent out emails about the Gold Card, there were flyers around the campus, and people advocated for it, officials said. Despite consistent promotion, many Bowie students didn’t use the Gold Card.
Tori Greene, 20, a Junior at Bowie State said, “I would rather receive my refund directly into my bank account. That would be much easier on my end. In my option, the refund check process seems to be a bit confusing. Whenever I have to deal with different transactions or payments through financial aid, it takes a lot of time to process the transaction.”
The seemingly perfect Gold Card didn’t stand the test of time. It was discontinued in Spring 2016. Emails were first sent out to students around the end of May that card would no longer be offered after July 1, 2016, “due to new Department of Education regulations.” This message was corroborated by Teresa Goff, Account Clerk III in the Student Accounts office. Goff said that the Gold Card didn’t fit the new regulations.
However, she confirmed that there may be a new form of direct deposit for refund checks in the future. “They’re working on it," Goff said. "The bursar is looking at other options for students to get it a different way than paper check.”