by Vicki Tambellini
VENTURA, Calif. (CN) – A class action claims that a financial services company and its bank partner prey on college students by coercing them into handing over financial aid money and charging them exorbitant fees to access the funds.
Lead plaintiff Sherry McFall, a student at Ventura College, claims Higher One automatically creates bank accounts for unsuspecting college students, the collects deceptive and improperly disclosed bank fees when the students access their money. She sued both Higher One Holdings and The Bancorp Bank, in Ventura County Court.
“Higher One has arrangements with hundreds of colleges, including Ventura College, whereby a student’s grant, scholarship and/or loan money is automatically deposited into a Higher One bank account without the authorization or consent of students. Colleges and universities, including Ventura College, send student mailing address and email address information to Higher One without receiving consent to do so,” McFall says in her complaint.