Chopra said his agency will be conducting a forum at the end of September to share its findings about the relationships between banks and universities. He said the agency would like to make sure checking account deals have not become a new version of the kind of agreements colleges were inking with credit card companies just a few years ago.
In 2009, Congress cracked down on deals between universities and credit card companies after some instances where colleges were being paid royalties based on the number of students opening accounts and the amount they spent. In some instances the banks would also provide a bonus to the school if students maintained a high credit card balance.
There were "several cases where schools and financial institutions have gotten into arrangements that have raised eyebrows," he said. "Particularly, in the marketing of student loans and credit cards. And as the market has shift toward new products, like checking accounts and student ID cards that double as debit cards, we wanted to make sure those same practices aren't happening again."
Miller said that he would like to see Congress step in again if universities continue to turn to banks as a creative source of revenue.
"We outlawed those scandals, where the universities were using their power and persuasion with the students to steer them to a preferred bank," Miller said. "The universities weren't doing their students a favor then, and they're not doing them a favor now. They're taking care of themselves for the payments they're getting from the banks at the cost, in many instances, of low income students, middle class students who are struggling with the cost of education."