The UW System says there's nothing underhanded about campuses entering business arrangements with banks.

Recent published reports questioned deals seven UW campuses have with local banks. The UW System's David Giroux its part of a new trend in higher education nationwide. Schools are encouraged to find ways to cut administrative costs through entrepreneurial relationships.

In this case, students can get their Student ID cards for free thanks to a revenue sharing agreement with the banks. The cards normally cost students a fee.

Giroux says those ID cards can be used as ATM and Debit cards only, if the student chooses to open an account at that bank.

Giroux says it would be different if we were talking about credit cards and piling up debt but we're not, he says.

Giroux says the same bank that helps the schools pay for every student's ID card may also market other services, such as credit cards to students but they are entirely separate transactions.

The seven campuses that have similar business arrangements with local banks are: UW-Oshkosh, Stevens Point, Eau Claire, Parkside, Superior and La Crosse.

UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee do not have such agreements.

AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:10 MP3 )

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