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VOA慢速英语:美国大学银行卡向学生索要高额费用

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US College Bank Cards Present High Fees for Students

美国大学银行卡向学生索要高额费用

Go to any college or university in the United States and you will find most students carrying the same items: books, laptops, cell phones and their official school identification cards, or IDs.

走进美国的任意一所大学或学院,你会发现大多数学生拿的东西都是一样的:书本、笔记本电脑、手机和他们学校的官方身份证或者是身份证。

These small plastic cards do more than show the names and pictures of the students who own them. They also permit students to open the electronic locks to campus buildings and borrow books from school libraries.

这些小塑料卡不光用于显示持卡学生的姓名和照片。学生也可以使用它们开宿舍大楼的电子门禁,也能用它们从学校图书馆借书。

In recent years, some colleges and universities have added an additional use for ID cards: buying things. The schools enter into agreements with banks so students can link their cards to private financial accounts. This way, students can use their cards to pay for things like food on campus and school supplies. In other words, their IDs become debit cards.

最近几年,一些学院和大学给身份证添加了一个附加功能:购物。学校跟银行达成协议,这样学生能把它们的卡跟私人金融账户链接起来。这样,学生能用它们的卡来买东西,例如学校的食物和学校供给品。也就是说他们的身份证变成了借记卡。

However, new research suggests that the way these card programs operate can harm students.

然而,新的研究显示这些借记卡项目运行的方式会损害学生的利益。

Kaitlyn Vitez is the higher education campaign director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG. Her organization aims to use research to support and protect people's financial interests. 

凯特琳·维兹是美国公益研究团体(PIRG)高等教育宣传活动的负责人。她的组织致力于通过研究来维护和保护人们财务利益。

She told VOA that PIRG has been looking into agreements between schools and banks for several years. This April, the group released its latest findings. 

她告诉VOA,多年来PIRG一直在研究学校与银行之间的协议。今年四月,团体公布了它最新研究。

PIRG found that, overall, students with campus debit cards paid over $24 million in fees during the last contract year. For example, students may be charged fees if they use another bank to withdraw money. Or, they may be charged fees if they spend more money than they have in their bank accounts. Many international students face fees for using the cards to buy things from their home countries. 

PIRG发现,总体来说,有校园借记卡的学生在去年签署和同这一年共计付了2400万美元的费用。例如,如果学生使用其他的银行取款,学生借记卡就要收费。或者他们的花销超过了自己银行账户的钱也要收费。很多国际学生如果从他们自己的国家买东西,借记卡也要收费。

Any large fee can create unexpected problems for students, says PIRG's Kaitlyn Vitez. And, she argues that banks do not make possible fees clear enough to students. 

PIRG凯特琳·维兹说任何高额费用可能会给学生带来预想不到的问题。并且她说银行收取的这些费用对学生并不是特别的公开透明。

But Vitez's biggest concern is whether some schools may urge students towards banks that may harm them financially. She notes that some banks pay colleges and universities for permission to advertise their debit card programs on campus. The advertising can appear to be part of official school programming, she says, and students may feel pushed towards opening accounts.

但是维兹最大的担心是:是否有些学校强制要求学生使用那些给学生带来经济损害的银行。她说一些学校给学院和学校钱让他们许诺在校园给银行的借记卡项目做宣传。这些广告可能出现在学校官方项目,她说,并且学生可能感觉被强迫去开通账户。

PIRG also found a connection between schools with paid agreements and student fees. Students at schools that received money from banks ended up paying up to 2.3 times more than students at schools with unpaid agreements.

PIRG还发现付费协议和学生费用与学校之间的联系。从银行借钱的学校学生最终的付款金额是持有无偿协议学生的2.3倍。

One example is Wells Fargo Bank. In recent years, the company has been involved in several situations that were either illegal or very harmful for consumers. It also earned nearly $11.3 million in fee payments from students at the 24 schools it had paid agreements with last contract year.

一个例子就是富国银行。最近几年,该公司面临几个违法或者严重伤害用户权益的事件。上一个合同年,它也从与其有付费协议的24个学校的学生费用支付中赚取1130万美元。

Vitez notes that many schools need financial support anywhere they can get it. But, she says, “When schools are setting their students up for … lifelong relationships with Wells Fargo, does that set students up for success? I would say no.”

维兹说,很多学校需要来自它们能得到钱的任何地方的金融支持。但是,她说,“当学校使学生与富国银行保持终生联系时,那真的是给学生开辟了成功的道路吗?我会说未必。”

VOA contacted several of the schools in the latest PIRG study. Texas State University, where students paid over $1 million in fees last contract year, chose not to comment. So did Florida International University, where students paid over $1.3 million, and Virginia Commonwealth University, where students paid over $500,000.

VOA与几个最新PIRG研究有关学校取得联系。上个合同年其学生支付费用超过100万美元的德克萨斯州立大学选择不做任何评论。 学生支付费用超过130万美元的佛罗里达国际大学和学生支付费用超过50万美元的维吉尼亚联邦大学同样也选择不做任何评论。

The University of Nevada, Reno, or UNR, started its paid agreement for a campus debit card program with Wells Fargo in 2005. Last contract year, UNR students paid over $700,000 in fees. The bank paid the school about $100,000. 

内华达大学雷诺分校(UNR)从2005年开始与富国银行签订关于校园借记卡项目的付费协议。上个合同年,UNR的学生支付费用超过70万美元。银行给了学校10万美元。

Penny Leathley is the campus card manager for UNR. She argues that the fact that over 9,000 students have campus debit cards shows that the program works well.

佩妮·莱斯利是负责UNR校园借记卡的经理。她辩论道,9,000多的学生持有校园借记卡的事实说明该项目运转很好。

“To me that's a good program,” said Leathley. “That shows that many parents and their students want to be involved in it.”

“对我来说那是一个很好的项目”莱斯利说,“那说明很多家长和学生愿意参与这个项目”。

She notes all banks have fees. And, she says, students can choose whether they want to use the Wells Fargo campus debit card program.

她说所有的银行都有费用。 她还说学生能自主选择他们是否愿意加入富国银行的校园借记卡项目。

If students are paying extra, Leathley suggests, they are likely using their cards for things beyond the free services the accounts offer.

如果学生需要支付额外的费用,莱斯利表示,他们很可能在用他们的借记卡在买超过账户所提供的的免费服务之外的东西。

But Tanya Ladha argues irresponsible use is not the only explanation for why students face fees. She is the director of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a non-profit consumer support group. Ladha claims that some students just do not have the information they need.

但是坦尼娅·拉达辩论道,不负责任地使用借记卡并不是学生需要付费的唯一解释。她是金融服务创新中心的主席,一个为消费者提供支持的公益性组织。

To be sure, banks can give special permissions to parents to observe students' debit card activities. And Wells Fargo Bank offers lessons on financial responsibility. In addition, workers at its on-campus bank speak several languages. 

无疑,银行会给家长特殊的承诺来监测学生的借记卡消费活动。并且富国银行提供金融责任方面的课程。

But Ladha notes that some parents lack financial knowledge themselves. And few high schools require students to take financial education classes. As a result, a number of students know little or depend on what the banks tell them.

除此之外,国富银行校园银行的职工能说好几种语言。但是拉达说一些父母自身缺乏金融知识。并且几乎没有学校要求学生去参加金融教育课程。结果,很多学生对金融知识了解很少,或者所有的金融知识都来自银行的传授。

Wells Fargo is not the only bank to operate campus debit card programs. U.S. Bank collected nearly $300,000 in fees from its 36 partner colleges and universities last year. SunTrust Bank earned over $1 million from one school alone: Florida State University, where 93 percent of students have accounts. 

富国银行并是不唯一一个运营校园借记卡项目的银行。去年美国银行从与它有合作关系的36个学院或者大学收取了将近30万美元的费用。太阳信托银行单从佛罗里达州立大学这一个学校就赚取了超过100万美元的费用,因为该学校的93%的学生都有银行账户。

On the other hand, PNC Bank was able to earn $1.3 million in fees while keeping its average fee payments per student to nearly a third of what others charge. PNC representatives told VOA in an email the amount the company pays the schools is “never directly tied to the amount of fees paid by student account holders.”

在另一方面,PNC银行保持其每位学生的平均支付费用为其他的银行收费的三分之一,这样它还能赚取130万美元的费用。PNC的代表在一次邮件中告诉VOA,公司给学校的金额“从来不会与账户持有者的学生所付的金额数量挂钩”。

In April, Wells Fargo announced changes to its campus debit cards. The company said it would permit account holders to overdraft their accounts without a fee once a month. They can also withdraw money from another bank up to four times a month.

四月,富国银行宣布改变其银行借记卡的政策。公司说它将许诺账户持有者免费透支银行账户一个月。学生还能一个月免费从其他银行取款四次。

“We're proud of the fact that four out of five students that join us through the campus card program stay with us after they leave school,” said Wells Fargo representative Jim Seitz. “We maintain that relationship by providing high-quality service and great customer experiences.”

“令我们感到骄傲的是五分之四通过校园借记卡项目加入我们的学生在他们离开学校以后还在与我们保持联系,”富国银行的代表吉姆·塞茨说,“我们通过给学生提供高质量的服务和极好的用户体验来维持这种关系”。

But Kaitlyn Vitez of U.S. PIRG argues that the best solution is for the government to limit paid agreements between banks and schools and ban aggressive advertising of debit cards on campus.

但是美国PIRG凯特琳·维兹辩论道,对于政府最好的解决办法就是限制银行与学校之间的付费协议,禁止在校园出现为借记卡大规模地做广告。

“All this information at the Department of Education's fingertips that they're not looking into, and there's real harm being done to students,” she said.

“他们并没有调查教育部唾手可得的所有信息,并且确实存在很多对于学生有损害的事实。”她说。

I'm Dorothy Gundy.

桃乐茜·冈迪为您报道。

And I'm John Russell.

约翰·拉塞尔为您报道。

US College Bank Cards Present High Fees for Students

Go to any college or university in the United States and you will find most students carrying the same items: books, laptops, cell phones and their official school identification cards, or IDs.

These small plastic cards do more than show the names and pictures of the students who own them. They also permit students to open the electronic locks to campus buildings and borrow books from school libraries.

In recent years, some colleges and universities have added an additional use for ID cards: buying things. The schools enter into agreements with banks so students can link their cards to private financial accounts. This way, students can use their cards to pay for things like food on campus and school supplies. In other words, their IDs become debit cards.

However, new research suggests that the way these card programs operate can harm students.

Kaitlyn Vitez is the higher education campaign director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG. Her organization aims to use research to support and protect people's financial interests. 

She told VOA that PIRG has been looking into agreements between schools and banks for several years. This April, the group released its latest findings. 

PIRG found that, overall, students with campus debit cards paid over $24 million in fees during the last contract year. For example, students may be charged fees if they use another bank to withdraw money. Or, they may be charged fees if they spend more money than they have in their bank accounts. Many international students face fees for using the cards to buy things from their home countries. 

Any large fee can create unexpected problems for students, says PIRG's Kaitlyn Vitez. And, she argues that banks do not make possible fees clear enough to students. 

But Vitez's biggest concern is whether some schools may urge students towards banks that may harm them financially. She notes that some banks pay colleges and universities for permission to advertise their debit card programs on campus. The advertising can appear to be part of official school programming, she says, and students may feel pushed towards opening accounts.

PIRG also found a connection between schools with paid agreements and student fees. Students at schools that received money from banks ended up paying up to 2.3 times more than students at schools with unpaid agreements.

One example is Wells Fargo Bank. In recent years, the company has been involved in several situations that were either illegal or very harmful for consumers. It also earned nearly $11.3 million in fee payments from students at the 24 schools it had paid agreements with last contract year.

Vitez notes that many schools need financial support anywhere they can get it. But, she says, “When schools are setting their students up for … lifelong relationships with Wells Fargo, does that set students up for success? I would say no.”

VOA contacted several of the schools in the latest PIRG study. Texas State University, where students paid over $1 million in fees last contract year, chose not to comment. So did Florida International University, where students paid over $1.3 million, and Virginia Commonwealth University, where students paid over $500,000.

The University of Nevada, Reno, or UNR, started its paid agreement for a campus debit card program with Wells Fargo in 2005. Last contract year, UNR students paid over $700,000 in fees. The bank paid the school about $100,000. 

Penny Leathley is the campus card manager for UNR. She argues that the fact that over 9,000 students have campus debit cards shows that the program works well.

“To me that's a good program,” said Leathley. “That shows that many parents and their students want to be involved in it.”

She notes all banks have fees. And, she says, students can choose whether they want to use the Wells Fargo campus debit card program.

If students are paying extra, Leathley suggests, they are likely using their cards for things beyond the free services the accounts offer.

But Tanya Ladha argues irresponsible use is not the only explanation for why students face fees. She is the director of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a non-profit consumer support group. Ladha claims that some students just do not have the information they need.

To be sure, banks can give special permissions to parents to observe students' debit card activities. And Wells Fargo Bank offers lessons on financial responsibility. In addition, workers at its on-campus bank speak several languages. 

But Ladha notes that some parents lack financial knowledge themselves. And few high schools require students to take financial education classes. As a result, a number of students know little or depend on what the banks tell them.

Wells Fargo is not the only bank to operate campus debit card programs. U.S. Bank collected nearly $300,000 in fees from its 36 partner colleges and universities last year. SunTrust Bank earned over $1 million from one school alone: Florida State University, where 93 percent of students have accounts. 

On the other hand, PNC Bank was able to earn $1.3 million in fees while keeping its average fee payments per student to nearly a third of what others charge. PNC representatives told VOA in an email the amount the company pays the schools is “never directly tied to the amount of fees paid by student account holders.”

In April, Wells Fargo announced changes to its campus debit cards. The company said it would permit account holders to overdraft their accounts without a fee once a month. They can also withdraw money from another bank up to four times a month.

“We're proud of the fact that four out of five students that join us through the campus card program stay with us after they leave school,” said Wells Fargo representative Jim Seitz. “We maintain that relationship by providing high-quality service and great customer experiences.”

But Kaitlyn Vitez of U.S. PIRG argues that the best solution is for the government to limit paid agreements between banks and schools and ban aggressive advertising of debit cards on campus.

“All this information at the Department of Education's fingertips that they're not looking into, and there's real harm being done to students,” she said.

I'm Dorothy Gundy.

And I'm John Russell.

_____________________________________________________________

 

Words in This Story

account(s) —n. an arrangement in which a bank keeps a record of the money that a person puts in and takes out of the bank

consumer(s) — n. a person who buys goods and services

overdraft — v. to withdraw more money from an account than is available

proud —adj. very happy and pleased because of something you have done, something you own, someone you know or are related to

aggressive — adj. using forceful methods to succeed or to do something

at (the Department of Education's) fingertips – idm. easy to find or use


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