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Universities profit from credit card deals

June 9, 2010

Some elite universities, including Brown University in Rhode Island, cut deals with credit card companies that allowed access to students’ personal information in exchange for payments when they opened and used credit cards, according to an investigation by the Huffington Post.

The investigation found that Bank of America has so-called “affinity agreements” with roughly 700 schools and alumni associations. All of the deals obtained by investigators granted access to student names, phone number and addresses, and most entitled schools to earn a bonus when students carried a balance from one year to the next.

At Brown, the investigation found that Bank of America agreed to pay $2.3 million over seven years, starting in 2006. Brown University officials tell the Huffington Post they no longer share student information with credit card companies.

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