Chances are, your alma mater has already drained more than a few dollars from your bank account. DePaul University in Chicago, however, wants its alums to put all their money in the bank?preferably its own.
In an effort to stay connected with its 100,000 alumni and boost donation rates, DePaul opened an online bank, DePaulBank.com, in January. The university works with Sutton Bank in Attica, Ohio, to offer interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, ATM and debit cards, online bill paying and other services to university alumni. Lending DePaul’s brand to an Internet bank makes sense since it has one of the largest computer science programs in the country, says Kenneth McHugh, the university’s executive vice president for operations.
DePaul’s move into Internet banking follows the November opening of AJDrexelBank.com by Drexel University in Philadelphia. Many other colleges and universities are taking similar approaches to building alumni ties as federal funding for higher learning has declined. Although DePaul’s online bank is just getting off the ground, the university already plans to expand the service to faculty, staff, student body and community members. “DePaul is a leader in technology and education,” McHugh says. “This program will help us spread the word.”