Guilty As Charged: What is Being Charged to Your Student Account?
May 8, 2017
Student accounts are very useful. High schools and colleges throughout the country use student accounts as an easy way for students to make payments for clothes, supplies, food, and other charges. At Holderness, the student account can be used in place of cash in many situations. Whether buying Tabor Day shirts, a bagel at snack bar, or a piece of photo paper from the school store, the student account relieves students from needing to carry cash or a credit card with them at all times. When you need or want something, the student account is an extremely convenient option. However, a common gripe amongst students is the charges put on their account that aren’t always clearly divulged.
The most commonly known example is the team photos. Each year, students get a photo of their sports team in their mailbox. There is no option given to students to opt out of receiving these photos, and a $10 charge is put on your student account. However, there are lesser known charges as well. The recent Senior Skip Day to Fenway Park charged a chunk of the price of tickets to the student accounts of the seniors. Most art classes have a course fee charged to the account. Smaller things are charged too, like the price of hats for baseball players, among other things.
While the student account is certainly a convenient tool to have, some questions must be raised; Should students be made more aware of what is being charged to their student account? Should students be able to opt out of receiving things (like team pictures) if they don’t want the charge to their account? And, finally, is it right for the school to charge accounts without notifying the students ahead of time? Throughout my four years at Holderness, complaints about unmentioned charges to the students accounts have been one of the most recurring gripes. Is there a better system that could be put in place of the student account? Or would an increased transparency about charges to student accounts, an account overview app, perhaps, solve the issue? Whichever ends up being the case, I believe something needs to be changed to de-mystify the student account to the student body.