Colorado State University has launched a revised campus card to attract more revenue from students and visitors.

The Fort Collins, Colo., school is replacing its E-Card with a program called RamCash Express, which supports an on-campus, declining-balance account available to university students, employees, family members of students who reside in university apartments and conference guests, Neal Lujan, the director of RamCard and technology services for the university's housing and dining services, said in an interview. The new card was announced last month.

"Many of the students living in these apartments are graduate students who have spouses or family members living with them who need an easy way to access on-campus services because they do not have a school identification card," he said.

The E-Card, which the school will discontinue on Dec. 31, supported prepaid payments at some campus food and beverage venues, Lujan said. The school expanded its card program this fall to accommodate individuals staying at the more than 900 university apartments.

Most campus card programs are designed to provide college students with a more efficient means of identification, but once "you extend it to family members and other guests, it is still about convenience but also helps to generate more revenue for the school," Bill McCracken, the chief executive of the financial services research firm Synergistics Research Corp., said. "It also encourages students and faculty to promote the card," he said.

In today's economy, many state governments are tightening budgets and increasing tuition fees, so higher education institutions are most likely looking for more ways to generate more revenue, McCracken said.

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