JCJC Helps Students, Businesses - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

JCJC Helps Students, Businesses

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JCJC students can load money or transfer funds from their financial aid called Bobcat Bucks onto their student ID - or One-Card.

They can then use the Bobcat Bucks at participating area businesses.

Jones came up with an idea for a contest they call Card-opoly to help drive business for their merchants and help familiarize the students with Bobcat Bucks.

One-Card Services Office Manager Lauren Wade explained that students can stop by her office to pick up a game-board for Card-opoly. Then, when they spend $5 at 10 businesses that accept Bobcat Bucks, they return their game board for a free t-shirt and a chance to win an iPad, a $75 gift card or a Coca-Cola fire pit.

She said Bobcat Bucks come in handy for more than half of Jones students since they're able to put them toward things like gas and food.

"We have a pharmacy on the program, so if they have medicines that they need, they can use that money to get that and save the cash that they may have in their pocket for other expenses like bills and things like that," Wade said.

Students said they love Bobcat Bucks.

"It's very convenient because I don't have to ask my parents for money," JCJC freshman Brittany Myrick said.

"It's quick, reliable," JCJC sophomore Amber Franklin said. "You can use it at any time."

"It's just simple and convenient," JCJC sophomore Steven Thorne said.  "I don't have to use cash or pull out of my credit card or debit card or anything like that, so it's just easy and convenient."

Wade said none of this would be possible without the help from local businesses.

"We're blessed to have such wonderful merchants on our program," Wade said.  "They love the students, and so do we."

She said their goal this year is to have half a million dollars in Bobcat Bucks Deposits.

With merchants like Ward's bringing in about $100 a day in Bobcat Bucks, that goal isn't out of reach.

"I don't see any negatives, any disadvantages of it at all," Ward's Manager Amanda Delk said.  "It's really beneficial. It brings them to your place."

Dominos Operating Partner Kenneth Grayson said students using Bobcat Bucks keep them from having to go all the way home to fill their bank accounts, and he says he appreciates them stimulating the local economy. Grayson said one important advantage he sees in Bobcat Bucks is that it is safer for students since debit cards are becoming more accessible for thieves.

"With the Bobcat Bucks, I have not really heard of those type problems happening, so it's something real good to help protect the students as well as protect the local businesses as well," Grayson said.

Students have requested that auto parts stores and grocery stores be added to the list of merchants.  Wade said it's in the works.

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