JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - If you don't use it, you lose it! As the spring semester comes to a close at Arkansas State University, students are working to spend the last few dollars on their flex accounts before the money disappears.
Region 8 News spoke with a senior who's been out money in the past. "That's a total outrage to me. Basically, you are ripping me out of my money," said senior Terrell Frazier.
He is a student that knows about the down falls of a Flex Dollar Account. "In the meal plan I was provided with I had to get 200 dollars worth and they basically took my hundred dollars and had to start off with a whole other meal plan," said Frazier.
Students are provided with the option of a Flex or Express Dollar Account is to provide convenience on campus. Flex is for food only, Express everything else and even some participating business off campus. It is a service ASU Card Center Manager Sheryl Puckett says is popular with Financial AID students.
"That's because they can put money on that card before financial aid is disburse to buy books," said Puckett.
One selling point for the flex dollars is tax is not add to food purchases, and Express Dollars can even allow you to get discounts at supporting businesses. But with every plus, there's catch. "If any students have any money left on their express dollars and they do not ask for a refund, if the account goes inactive for at least a year, the university can pull that back as income," said Puckett.
In 2010 and 2011, the University pulled in over 20-thousand dollars from inactive Express Accounts. The money all goes back towards technology at the Card Care Center. The good news, Express Dollars do roll over from year to year. Flex dollars only roll over from the fall to spring semester. So at the end of the spring semester that balance disappears, which explains why the campus convenience store is bare.
"We see them (students) the last couple of weeks of the semester, they'll be carrying everything trying to use all that money up," said Puckett.
As for Frazier, he's just trying to "eat" his remaining Flex balance...Literally! "I'm trying to hurry up and spend it, I move out Sunday. So I'm going to go ahead and use my Flex Dollars on whatever I can," said Frazier.