Letter to the Editor: In Reponse to Volume 18, Issue 9

“School/Bank Connection Could Lead to Student Mistrust”

In a Chronicle edito­rial last week titled “School/ Bank Connection Could Lead to Student Mistrust,” the Chronicle asserted that CNM administration “was in the wrong when it agreed to allow Wells Fargo access to students while they were getting (finan­cial aid) disbursement checks.”

I would just like to pro­vide some more context on this topic. In the Student Services Division of CNM, and across the college as a whole, we know that many of our students face very difficult financial circum­stances. And as many studies have shown, there are far too many folks in New Mexico and across the country who do not have any bank accounts or banking services whatsoever.

We know from experi­ence that way too many stu­dents in the past have had to pay scarce dollars just to get their financial aid checks cashed. To help more students keep more of their money in their pockets, CNM worked with its current banking services provider – Wells Fargo – in a successful effort to provide our students with a free check-cashing service.

If Wells Fargo didn’t pro­vide this service, many students would have been forced to pay check-cashing fees at other banks or at predatory lending operations.

CNM will discuss the claims of pressure-sales tactics by Wells Fargo employees that were reported by the Chronicle. But we strongly feel that pro­viding our students with a free check-cashing service was, and is, the right thing to do.

Phillip Bustos, Vice President of Student Services

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