WKU planning for check-free student payroll

Tessa Duvall

Student payday could go paperless at WKU.

Chief Financial Officer Jim Cummings said WKU is in the process of moving toward a check-free student payroll system.

The payroll office and representatives from Higher One are currently working out a way that would allow student workers to be paid through direct deposit to their Higher One account or straight to their personal bank account, he said.

WKU currently uses Higher One debit cards to issue student refunds and residual checks. This has replaced paper checks, Cummings said.

Cummings said the new system, when implemented, will have several benefits for student workers.

Currently, paper checks are distributed to employees by various people in various offices. But with the electronic payment system, students would be automatically paid without having to pick up their checks, Cummings said.

A definite date for the transition has yet to be determined, he said.

Cummings said students were consulted about the idea of the switch and that former Student Government Association President Kevin Smiley was an advocate of the idea.

Smiley said the new process would be a sensible and feasible way to pay students.

“A lot of people indicated that they wanted direct deposit,” he said.

One of those people is Scarlett Marklin, a senior from Tampa, Fla., who works as an English tutor at the Learning Assistance Center at South Campus.

When Marklin worked at Sears, she was paid through direct deposit, which she said ensured that she was always paid on time.

“It’s easier. It’s more efficient,” she said.

Because her bills are deducted automatically from her bank account each month, Marklin said it makes sense to have her pay automatically deposited.

Marklin said she would prefer to have her pay directly deposited into her personal bank account rather than onto her Higher One debit card because she is more familiar with her bank and their staff.

When residual money is issued onto the Higher One card, Marklin immediately puts as much as she can into her personal savings account, she said.

Munfordville sophomore Katelyn Childress, a student secretary in the engineering department, said she would also prefer to have her money deposited directly into her personal bank account because there would only be one account balance to keep up with.

Childress said she finds Higher One confusing and has tried to avoid it when possible by receiving her residual money by paper check.