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“Welcome to college…want to charge that?”

It’s no secret that credit card companies are more than anxious to sign up college students as soon as they arrive on campus and begin buying books, dorm furniture, not to mention plenty of late-night pizza.

But a new report by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund reveals that some of the nation’s largest and elite universities are gaining millions by entering into “affinity” agreements with credit card companies and promptly selling off the names and addresses of students and alumni.

More troubling is the practice that allows some colleges to receive bonuses when students incur debt.

According to their findings, Charlotte-based Bank of America has affinity contracts with some 700 schools and alumni associations. At least 100 schools have similar agreements with other financial institutions.

For granting such access and information, schools can receive royalty payments based on the number of students opening accounts and the amount they spend, the contracts show.

Most of the schools are entitled to earn more whenever a student carries a balance from year to year.

….consumer advocates question whether colleges participating in affinity agreements are failing to safeguard the young people in their care.

You can read the full report here.

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