AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- College students who pay their tuition bills with a credit card incur an average "convenience fee" of 2.62%, according to a new CreditCards.com report, which surveyed 300 of the largest U.S. public, private and community colleges. That can amount to $262 for every $10,000 of tuition.
Community colleges are the most fee-friendly. Out of the 100 largest community colleges surveyed, 97% accept credit cards for tuition payments and only 8% charge convenience fees. By contrast, 93% of public universities and 77% of private institutions that accept credit cards charge convenience fees.
Roger Williams University in Rhode Island has the highest convenience fee (3%), followed by St. Joseph's University in Pennsylvania and Miami University-Oxford in Ohio, which tied at 2.99%.
"If your college charges a high convenience fee, it's not worth paying your tuition with a credit card," said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com senior industry analyst. "Especially if you have outstanding student loan debt, it's unnecessary to dig yourself more deeply into debt just to pay with plastic."
Eighty-five percent of the 300 colleges and universities that CreditCards.com surveyed accept credit cards for tuition payments under at least some circumstances. The most common restriction on card use is only accepting credit card tuition payments online. Other restrictions include limiting credit card payments to certain classes of students (such as graduate students) or not allowing students to use certain major credit card vendors.
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CreditCards.com is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America's leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2015, over 27 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.
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