Student IDs could be more than identification
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 18:10
Plans for the Alamo Colleges student ID cards to include additional features such as verifying attendance and accessing GoPrint services are in the works at a projected cost of $106,000, Pamela Ansboury, associate vice chancellor for finance and fiscal services, said Wednesday.
She said the estimated $106,000 includes printers, software, network drops, electrica, and annual maintenance.
Ansboury said costs for consumables, such as ID cards and annual maintenance will be $39,377 per year to produce ID cards for about 65,000.
The original cost for the student ID presented to trustees in July 2011 was $162,559 for equipment, consumables and software.
Ansboury said the 53 percent was saved though negotiations with the Heartland Payment Systems.
Student ID cards issued beginning in the summer also serve as replacement cards for lost AlamoCash cards.
The AlamoCash card is a Discover debit card launched this summer to save money on paper, postage and employee labor. The cards are used for refunds to students, including financial aid disbursements.
The new student IDs act as a replacement for the Alamo Cash card so students can have access to their funds by withdrawing from an ATM.
Currently, student ID cards are encoded with a student’s Banner number, allow verification of enrollment status and serve as check-out access at college libraries.
District Comptroller Ann DeBarros said using student ID cards will help the district comply with the U.S. Department of Education requirements, which determines how much federal aid is awarded to the district.
She said when students withdraw from the colleges they simply stop attending classes instead of asking instructors to withdraw them from courses.
“So if we had an attendance method of tracking attendance, we could more clearly track when a student stops attending, withdraws, all their classes, and adjust the financial aid accordingly,” DeBarros said.
Ansboury said student ID cards are also planned to incorporate GoPrint services, but so far, “It’s all talk.”
She did not know when this might go into effect.
“It is on the project plan. We haven’t rolled that out yet because we need to stabilize some things before we add other functionalities,” she said.
With the GoPrint system, students use a refillable card or create an online account to purchase prints from campus labs.
Ansboury said instead of having to issue two cards, students will need only their student ID’s to purchase prints.
She said student ID cards are also being planned to provide convenience in academic advising, transcript requests, admission to campus events and access to campus wellness centers and student activity events.
Ansboury said the functions of the student ID will be standardized across all of the Alamo Colleges so students will use the same ID to access services at any college.
Students who do not have the new student ID card can receive one at no cost.
At this college, student IDs can be obtained in Room 200A of Fletcher Administration Center.
Students who want to use their student ID card to withdraw from ATMs have to activate the card by calling 866-930-4065.