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Credit card smarts key for all students

Oct. 5, 2000

By ALLISON PRESLEY

Reporter

Approximately 70 percent of college students possess at least one credit card. One-fourth of those with cards face debt exceeding $10,000, and many college administrators claim more of their students drop out because of credit card debt than academic struggle, according to United College Marketing Services.

A seminar Tuesday sponsored by Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity, focused on educating students on credit card management.

A representative from UCMS, a consumer advocacy group, spoke on the ignorance, fears and common misconceptions associated with credit card use.

According to UCMS, Congress is currently working on an act that will help to educate students before they are issued a credit card. Part of this act would prohibit 'tabling' on college campuses. Tabling occurs when credit card companies send representatives to campuses to set up tables to offer students free gifts in exchange for filling out credit card applications.

The only companies allowed to set up tables on Baylor campus are those that have negotiations with the university, said Martha Lou Scott, dean of student campus life.

Baylor now shares affinity agreements with MBNA and First USA. Through these companies, students are offered MasterCard or Visa cards with a Baylor logo, and a percentage of sales from these credit cards goes to Baylor.

The Baylor Alumni Association and the Baylor Athletic Department are also a part of such endorsements.

Kyle Penney, director of business affairs for the Alumni Association, said one of the reasons the alumni have entered into a contract with MBNA is because the company has a reputation for educating students on proper use of credit cards.

'There is a hope that with these programs, students will be taught to use credit cards responsibly,' Penney said. 'MBNA knows that if there is ... irresponsibility going on with [Baylor students' use of] credit cards, we will walk away.'