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Emory students debate new credit card law: Helpful or just intrusive?

Students split on whether law helps or is just "playing mom"

By Tiffany Han

School info

School: Emory University (EU)
State: Georgia
City: DeKalb County, near Atlanta
Colors:
Enrollment: About 13,000
Website: http://www.emory.edu

What other students are saying

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Emory University is a private research university chartered in 1836 and located in suburban Atlanta. It offers degrees through nine schools and has been recognized, in particular, for its arts and sciences, business, law, theology and health programs.

Banks are permitted to reserve tables at Emory's student building -- the Dobbs University Center (DUC) -- during fall orientation in August. According to Andrea Lentz, director of meeting services, banks typically bring water bottles, Frisbees and other tchotchkes and allow students to become familiar with the lending institutions, compare services and open up checking and savings accounts.

"This is especially helpful for international students who may not already have a domestic bank account," says Lentz.

In past years, after the fall orientation, the school received occasional requests from banks to return to campus, particularly if they were offering special promotions. For example, she said, Wachovia offered $25 to open up a new account in the fall of 2008. Past participants have included: the Emory Alliance Credit Union, Wachovia, Bank of America, BB&T and Suntrust. This year, however, Emory has not been approached by any of the banks to return.

Most of the banks coming to campus encourage students to open up checking accounts, not apply for credit cards, Lentz says.

Here's what some students at Emory University have to say about the new credit card law and managing credit cards:

"Say a student needs to buy furniture for his or her dorm or pay several hundred dollars for textbooks. It could make sense to pay for something like this with credit, since there might not be enough money in a bank account at that moment, even if a paycheck will be coming soon."
-- Alex Dawson, 20


The Emory Glenn Chapel

"I don't think it's the government's responsibility to make sure we spend our money wisely. I don't need or want anybody playing mom."
-- Alice Chen, 19

"I think [the new law] will help keep college students out of debt by making parental involvement more likely. They'll be more likely to get involved with their children's spending habits when their kids go on shopping sprees, and they could end up footing the bill."
-- Matthew Tamul, 20

"This new law allows parents to assist students with understanding finances during a time when they are just starting to be on their own. For me, there is nothing wrong with that."
--Christina White, 20

"I like the idea of co-signing with a parent for now, since I don't have a sufficient income on my own to solely rely on funneling my own money into a credit card account."
--Molly Davis, 19

More about credit cards and students

See related: Sample credit card contract for parents and their young adult children, Guide to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, Interactive time line: How the credit card bill became law, when its provisions take effect

Published: September 30, 2009


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