COLUMBIA —The first year of college can leave many students strapped for cash.
MU has several electronic payment options for students to keep themselves well fed and well read.
From Student Charge to E.Z. Charge, here’s a guide to getting the most out of a student ID card. It is versatile piece of plastic.
The ID card is a meal ticket at any dining hall. It provides access to the MU Student Health Center and MU Student Recreation Complex and permits book check-out from Ellis Library. In many residence halls, the card is the key to your room.
Most notably, a student ID card allows each student to purchase items that are billed directly to a student account.
Students can charge anything they purchase from the MU Bookstore, tickets for on campus concerts and athletics, flowers from Tiger Garden, ice cream from Buck’s Ice Cream Parlor, and even laundry costs in any residence hall.
Students can also charge copying costs at some campus libraries and the two Digiprint Centers on campus, purchase materials and take classes through MU’s craft studio, and cover the costs of greens fees and rentals at A.L. Gustin Golf Course.
All of these purchases are added directly to the student bill, which can be found on MyZou. A student may charge up to $1,000 each semester.
It’s important to note that these items and services still cost the same amount as they would if a student paid with cash or a debit card.
The key to student charge is the convenience of paying at a later date with no interest fee.
One word of caution: The option to student charge will be temporarily revoked if a student does not pay the bill on time, and a hold is placed on the account. This can be resolved by simply paying the bill.
In addition to Student Charge, Campus Dining Services has created an electronic payment system for meals, snacks and beverages across campus called E.Z. Charge.
E.Z. Charge is a free service that can be used to pay for meals at any dining location in the MU Student Center and Memorial Union, as well as various cafes around campus, like the J Café and Catalyst Café.
That covers everything from burgers to sushi to Starbucks coffee.
E.Z. Charge can also be used for purchases in Mizzou Markets, gas station-type stores located around campus.
The service comes in two forms: prepaid and pay-as-you-go.
Prepaid accounts allow you to make advance deposits at any time online or in person at the Campus Dining Services main office, 900 Virginia Ave. You then spend down from what is already there. Dining services recommends $400 per semester.
Unlike meal points, any extra E.Z. Charge funds carry over to the next semester, and once you graduate, they are refunded to your student account.
An advantage to the prepaid system is that you never wind up over budget since a limit is in place.
Pay-as-you-go is similar to Student Charge. It allows you to charge purchases up to $100 per week. Those purchases are added to your university bill.
Students can open an E.Z. Charge account at any Campus Dining Services location.