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University Beat

USF Tuition Warning: Visa Out, Credit Card Fees Up

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USF Communications & Marketing

Students at the University of South Florida will no longer have the option of paying their tuition with a Visa card. 

The Tampa Bay Times reports that, starting next Thursday, Aug. 15, USF won't be able to accept the card for tuition because the school will be charging a 2.5 percent processing fee on all tuition payments made on plastic.  And that doesn't meet Visa's requirements. 

Previously, that processing fee was a flat $10, but USF controller Jennifer Condon told the Times that the school had to pay $800,000 out of reserve funds in the last fiscal year in order for students to be able to pay tuition with a credit card. 

"We do believe that it's going to be cost-justified at the end of the year," Condon said. "I do believe that 2.5 (percent) is fair."

This comes at a time when USF President Judy Genshaft has called for an increase in reserve funds, which she says are essential to the university's fiscal health. 

University officials are looking at adjusting the system, possibly in time to bring Visa back in the spring. For now, when it comes to tuition and fees, USF will take American Express, Discover and MasterCard.

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