University of California Policy and Supplemental Guidelines on the Marketing of Credit Cards to Students
(Revised July 20, 2010)
(Compliant with California State Legislature AB 262 (Coto), the College Student Credit Protection Act, chaptered October 14, 2007 (California Ed Code 89030 and Chapter 1.4, Part 65, Div 14, Title 3, and California Government Code 13332.09) and the federal Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009)
The California Student Financial Responsibility Act of 2001 requested that the University of California "adopt policies to regulate the marketing practices used on campuses by credit card companies." In addition, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 seeks to protect young consumers by implementing specific safeguards and increasing the transparency of affinity agreements between credit card companies and universities. Pursuant to such legislation and consistent with the interest of the University in establishing minimum Universitywide standards (based on existing campus policies in this area) to regulate such activity, the following Policy applies to all banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) that engage in the marketing of credit cards to students through solicitation activities (hereafter referred to as "marketing" activities) on or near campuses and at campus events of the University of California.
The accompanying Guidelines are intended to provide supplemental guidance to campuses in their implementation of this Policy.
University of California Policy on the Marketing of Credit Cards to Students
I. All banks and other commercial entities (including their third- party representatives) shall be required to register with the campus administration before engaging in activities for the purpose of marketing credit cards to students on or near a campus or at an event sponsored by the campus.
II.Such marketing activities shall be restricted to specific sites and times designated by the campus administration as appropriate to such activities.
III. At the discretion of the campus administration and to the extent permitted by law, all banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) engaged in such marketing activities may be assessed a daily or other periodic fee by the campus, at a level consistent with that charged to other commercial vendors.
IV. In order to help ensure that students are provided the opportunity to make reasonably informed decisions about both the general degree of credit indebtedness they are equipped to incur and the terms of a particular offer of credit, all banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) that have registered with the campus administration to engage in marketing activities as defined in Section I of this Policy:
A. Are permitted to solicit students by providing them with information on credit card offers, including credit card application materials and accompanying information relating to the terms and conditions of a particular offer of credit as required by law;
B. Are required, when requested by the campus, to display appropriate signage identifying the bank or other commercial entity they represent and verifying that they have registered with the campus, and also to display and make available a copy of this Policy as well as campus-supplied debt education materials promoting the responsible use of credit cards. Banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) that have available such debt education materials from a non-campus source that wish to provide those materials to students in lieu of campus-supplied materials may do so, as long as the materials are campus-approved;
C. Are prohibited, while on campus, from collecting personal information from students specifically for credit card application purposes (including, but not limited to, completed credit card application forms and similar materials), either at the time of solicitation or subsequently. Rather, such completed application materials may be mailed or hand-delivered by students, once they have read and considered the materials and are in a position to make an informed decision, to an off-campus office of the bank or other soliciting entity at a later time.
D. Are prohibited, while on campus, near the campus (within 1,000 feet) or while at an event sponsored by or related to the campus, from offering tangible items to students for the purpose of inducing students to apply for or participate in an open end consumer credit plan offered by such card issuer or creditor.
V. Banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) engaged in marketing activities that are found to be in material violation of any provision of this Policy may be denied access to the campus for the purpose of engaging in such activities for a specified period, depending on the nature and extent of the violation(s).
VI. Consistent with the above and other applicable provisions of University policy, campuses may develop such additional implementing regulations governing the time, place, and manner of the marketing activities of banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) for the purpose of the on-campus marketing of credit cards to students as are reasonable and appropriate.
VII. Campuses must disclose all contracts or agreements with banks or other commercial entities for the purpose of marketing credit cards. Disclosure may be achieved by posting the agreement on the campuses’ websites or by making the agreements available upon request.
VIII. Consistent with the applicable laws governing commercial free speech, nothing in this Policy shall preclude campuses from prohibiting outright the marketing and/or other solicitation activities of banks and other commercial entities (including their third-party representatives) for the purpose of the on-campus marketing of credit cards to students, as long as that prohibition is part of a blanket campus prohibition against the on-campus marketing and/or other solicitation activities of all categories of commercial vendors without consideration for the content or nature of the goods or services of any particular category of vendor. Campuses shall consult with the Office of the General Counsel in the development of any local campus regulations that are more restrictive than this Policy.
IX. All banks and other commercial entities must submit to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System an annual report detailing the terms and conditions of any agreements with the University to provide and market credit cards to students
X. Any banks or other commercial entities who engage in marketing activities on or near campus or at campus events or who have contracted with the University for the purpose of marketing credit cards must comply with the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.
Supplemental Guidelines for Implementing the University of California Policy on the Marketing of Credit Cards to Students
I. When restricting marketing activities to specific sites and times as provided by Section II of the Policy, campuses are strongly encouraged to give consideration to strictly limiting the number of such sites, as well as the times that such activities can take place, consistent with the provisions of the California Student Financial Responsibility Act of 2001 and with the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.
II.A. Further consistent with the provisions of the California Student Financial Responsibility Act of 2001, and with the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, campuses are strongly encouraged to provide credit-card and other debt education to all students. Although campuses may develop their own programs (see Section II.B of these Guidelines), they are encouraged to minimize workload by taking advantage of available third-party programs and materials that have been reviewed and approved by the campus and/or by providing referrals to high-quality programs, materials, and counseling available at no cost from third-party entities. Among the means to be considered by campuses are:
1. Using new student orientation programs to target education efforts particularly toward first-year students, many of whom have no previous experience managing personal credit;
2. Posting debt management information on a campus website that students commonly access; and
3. Encouraging cross-departmental sharing of credit-card and other debt education materials.
II.B. Pursuant to Section II.A of these Guidelines, campuses that elect to charge marketing fees as provided by Section III of the Policy may wish to give consideration to applying the fee to the cost of developing new, or improving existing, campus debt counseling services and/or related credit-card education activities and programs that may be available through the Office of Student Financial Support and other campus departments.
III. To the extent financially feasible, campuses are further encouraged to examine their practices regarding the insertion of credit-card promotional materials into shopping bags that are used in their bookstore or other retail operations, and give consideration to either 1) phasing out that practice, or 2) requiring that such materials be accompanied by campus-approved debt-education materials promoting the responsible use of credit cards.
IV. The University recognizes that any law or University policy aiming at the stricter regulation of the on-campus credit card solicitation of students by banks and other commercial entities or their third-party representatives may have the effect of redirecting the focus of such solicitation efforts to students just outside the campus boundaries. Accordingly, campuses are encouraged to consider working with local municipalities to promote the enactment of new municipal time, place, and manner regulations and/or, where such regulations are already in existence, to support their more rigorous enforcement, consistent with the underlying public policy intent of the California Student Financial Responsibility Act of 2001 and the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 to promote an environment actively supportive of the conditions for encouraging student financial responsibility.