The CFPB has announced that it is launching an inquiry into the impact of financial products marketed to students through colleges and universities. The CFPB intends to use the information gathered to determine whether these arrangements are in the best interest of students. "We have seen many colleges establish relationships with financial institutions to offer banking services to their students," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "The Bureau wants to find out whether students using college-endorsed banking products are getting a good deal."
To better understand the market, the CFPB is publishing a Notice and Request for Information on the topic of campus financial products including student identification cards that double as debit cards, cards used to access scholarships and student loans and school-affiliated bank accounts. According to the CFPB, "institutions of higher education may be uniquely positioned to create a beneficial environment for students in the selection of financial products and services." The bureau hopes to gain a better understanding of the types of campus affinity products being offered, how institutions of higher education are defining these relationships and the experience of students using these products. It hopes to determine how partnerships between institutions of higher education and financial institutions might be structured to promote positive financial decision making among young consumers.