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ASTATE OneCard: Alternative options for students to save money

By Kayla Paine
On May 1, 2012

ASTATE OneCard

Incoming freshmen will be issued a new kind of ID called the ASTATE OneCard.

The university has teamed up with Discover Money Network to allow students to open an account with ASU Student Account Services, separate from their school account, to be used anywhere that accepts Discover card, including off-campus locations.

Since last week the card has been available to current ASU student. Students with the old IDs will be able to go to the card center and be issued a new ID.

Sheryl Puckett, campus card manager, said she was still unsure whether current students will be charged $10 if they desire a new card.

Were excited to introduce the new ASTATE OneCard. It will allow financial aid refunds to be put on the ID and used wherever Discover is used, Puckett said.

Now students are able to use their refunds from financial aid quicker and take it off campus. Book money will still be required to go through express dollars.

There are two magstripes on the new IDs. The black magstripe will allow students to access all the functions of the current ID.

There is a holographic magstripe added that allows the student to access the Discover account.

The card does not function as a credit card, but as a loadable card that works as a debit card. Students can use the account as a bank account if desired.

TAXES

Taking out a loan or paying out of pocket for tuition, fees, supplies or books can result in a larger tax return. Undergraduate students that are taking a standard deduction on their return can file for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, form 8863.

If students are already itemizing their deductions and including tuition and fees, then the tax credit is not an option.

The Internal Revenue Service website states that 40 percent of the credit is refundable giving students almost $1,000 more each year. If students are dependents, then parents can file for the tax credit as well.

An H&R Block associate in Jonesboro said that he has seen a lot of nursing students take advantage of the tax credit by claiming all of their expensive books and necessary equipment costs.

Keeping receipts of the books and equipment costs are advisable. Students can print a copy of their student account summary to use as proof of tuition or fees being paid from a loan or out of pocket

Tax documents can be amended up to three years. Students can go back and claim the tax credit to still get that tax credit.

UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

Over the past five years $83,652.55 has been reported as unclaimed property to the state. This money belongs to former and current students, faculty, staff and businesses that have relations with ASU.

If the university cannot locate the people or business it owes money to then it sends the money to the Arkansas State Auditors office.

About $170 million in unclaimed property has been reported to the state over the past 15 years from the entire state.

The state is marketing the search for those who have unclaimed property as the Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt and to check it go to https://www.ark.org/auditor/unclprop/index.php. A person who wants to search for unclaimed property can search using their last name or social security number.

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