OneCard Tips and FAQ

Purpose of the OneCard

While Fall 2003 marked the official launch of Bearkat OneCard Services, the OneCard program evolved through a collaborative effort between University administration, faculty, students, and the Huntsville community. With the program fully underway, it makes sense to review the purpose of the OneCard program.

Single ID Card System – A number of ID card formats have been used at SHSU in past years. Many of these ID types still exist on campus. Some use social security numbers, some use student ID numbers, some use either of the two with additional sequencing. None of these past cards really permit advanced usage through magnetic card readers, indeed only a few legacy cards can be read in any format. The Bearkat OneCard program brings the entire campus body into a single, easily-recognizable card program which standardizes around ID numbers and moves away from the dependency on social security numbers.

Campus Access: traditional and non-traditional – Most of us think of an ID card in its traditional sense, a piece of plastic you show at certain locations that permit access. Traditional card uses include campus dining, library, and recreational sports among other uses. A OneCard, using magnetic encoding, permits SHSU to move beyond traditional access. As an example, over time the OneCard will be used for building and parking access. This will cut down on the number of keys needing to be issued (and carried) and will even allow the OneCard to help with campus parking concerns. This is one of two areas in which the OneCard program allows SHSU to use today’s technology to control tomorrow’s costs! Additionally, through the profile, card holders can manage several ID card functions (card loss, shipping addresses, etc.).

Financial Aid Refunds –Bank transactions are not free and paper checks cost SHSU a lot of money to process. With the Bearkat OneCard, SHSU gains access to electronic deposit for financial aid and other University refunds. Further, card holders now have control of how they receive their University refund payments. Refund payments can be received as direct deposit to existing banks or to the new OneAccount. The direct deposit to OneCards and bank accounts options are free to students. The ability to provide electronic deposit of refunds reduces operating costs for the University while improving convenience for students.

Additional Student Services – The Bearkat OneCard provides all card holders access to an optional checking account, the OneAccount, provided by Bearkat OneCard partner, Higher One. Through the OneAccount, OneCard holders can use their card as a check card wherever Master Card is accepted worldwide. Further, OneAccount holders have quick access to their account balances and transaction history through their profile.


Bearkat Express or OneAccount?

There is some confusion between using the Bearkat Express and the Higher One OneAccount when paying for meals on campus. Both are accessible using the OneCard.

Bearkat Express – Part of the meal plan system provided through Residence Life. This is a stored value system where purchases can be made at any of the ARAMARK dining facilities located on campus (Paw Print, South Paw, Café Belvin, etc.).

Add Bearkat Bucks here!

OneAccount – Student checking account that is accessible wherever MasterCard is accepted and from any ATM machine.

When a student visits any ARAMARK dining facility on campus, they potentially have the option to pay using Bearkat Express or the OneAccount. It is very important to tell your cashier 'Bearkat Express' if you are paying with your meal plan or 'OneAccount' if you are paying through MasterCard (you sign your name to a receipt). Meal plan funds through Bearkat Express can only be used by you; OneAccount transactions can be used if paying for yourself and/or guest.

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ATM Usage

The launch of the Bearkat OneCard has created more ATM access and choices for the SHSU population.

Advice on Fees – If you are conducting your ATM transaction at an ATM that is NOT owned by your bank it is common for both your bank and the ATM owner to charge fees.


ATM locations on campus
Location Owner
Academic Building One – First Floor First National Bank of Huntsville
University Post Office First National Bank of Huntsville
Lowman Student Center – First Floor Higher One
Newton Gresham Library – Main Entrance Higher One
2nd Floor of the Estill Building Higher One


Bearkat OneCard Information – If you are using a Bearkat OneCard, remember to select Checking Account as the account type. Your PIN will be the PIN you entered during activation of your OneCard.

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University Refunds

The Bearkat OneCard has created more flexibility for SHSU students receiving various types of refunds from SHSU. This OneCard Tip examines the refund options currently available.

OneAccount Deposit – This option places the refund into the OneAccount, the optional checking account which can be attached to the OneCard. Funds received in this manner are available to the cardholder immediately.

ACH Transfer – This option places the refund into any bank account designated by the card holder (Chase, BankAmerica, First National Bank of Huntsville, etc.). An authorization form, which provides bank account and routing information, is required. The form may be completed on-line.

Forgot Your Refund Preference? – Cardholders can view their current financial refund selection by logging into their profile, selecting Refunds, and then selecting refund preferences. The Bearkat OneCard Services office is available to assist every cardholder in selecting the refund option that works best for that cardholder.

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Why Activate?

Some card recipients have asked 'why activate' if they're only intending to use the OneCard for ID purposes. This OneCard Tip notes several important things occurring during activation:

  1. Confirming receipt of the OneCard . Information you provide during activation confirms that the OneCard you received is the appropriate one for you.
  2. Creating your web profile with . This site is where you report a card lost/stolen, select and modify refund options, set mailing address for future OneCards, and activate and manage the optional OneAccount.
  3. Setting your refund preference . For students, university refunds are paid through Higher One. Your receipt preference is managed under Profile in Financial Refunds. More information regarding your refund options can be found at .
  4. Optional activation of the OneAccount . The OneAccount is a checking account made available by Higher One to all card holders. You are under no requirement to activate the OneAccount, although a number of features and benefits involve using the OneAccount.

The Bearkat OneCard has a number of uses and cardholders will have their own individual mix of features active on their OneCard at any given time.

To activate the OneCard visit the website, click on the green "Get Started" and then follow the activation instructions. Bearkat OneCard Services is happy to assist cardholders with the activation of their OneCard and selection of preferences appropriate to that cardholder.


Where can I find my routing number and account number?

To locate your routing number and account number, visit and log in with your username and password. Click on the User Profile tab and choose Accounts from the drop down. 


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How do I use the ATM. (Which option to pick?

Answer: Higher One has three ATMs on campus. They are located on the first floor of the Lowman Student Center, in the Newton Gresham Library Main Entrance, and in the Estill Building on the Second Floor. If you are using your Bearkat OneCard, remember to select Checking Account as the account type. Your PIN will be the PIN you entered during activation of your OneCard.

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How to transfer money out of the account?

Answer:  (1) Money can be withdrawn from the ATMs on campus anytime up to $500 every 24 hours.(2) A faster option would be to take the Bearkat One Card to any bank and do a Cash Advance from your card (up to $2,500 a day). You will be charged a minimum $5 fee or 3.5% of total transfer from Higher One for this transaction in addition to any fees the bank may charge. (3) Money can be transferred online using the "Online Bill Pay" feature. (4) Money can be transferred from one OneAccount to another OneAccount.

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How am I getting my refunds?

Answer:  All refunds are sent by SHSU to Higher One. Higher One then sends out the money according to the refund option that was selected by the student during activation. However, you can also receive your refund via direct deposit to any bank account (2 to 3 business days).   If you are unsure of which option you chose, you should log into your account and verify. These options can be changed at any time, including while the refund is still in progress.

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How do I change the refund option?

Answer: The refund option can be changed at anytime. To change your refund option log on to your account at Select "Refunds" and then "Refund Preferences". Change your option and don't forget to hit "Update Preference" at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

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Why is the money going to the BearKat OneCard?

Answer: Often, the term “your money went to the OneCard” is used when describing SHSU refunds.  In actuality, SHSU disburses your refunds through Higher One (the company that produces your Bearkat OneCard). Higher One disburses your refund to you in the manner you’ve selected on our profile.  The university does not have a default option.

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How do I reset my password and unsuspended my account?

Answer: To reset your password, log on to the, click “Reset password," located under the "login" button. Supply the requested information about your e-mail address and card information to verify identity. An email will be sent to the email address you used when logging into The email will contain a temporary password to be used to log into You will be prompted to reset this password. This method can also be used to unsuspend your account. If you wish not to unsuspend your account this way your account will unsuspend automatically in 24 hours.  If you do reset your password, be sure to change the numeric code that Higher One supplies, with a password you will remember.

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How long does it take the money to hit my account after making a check or money order deposit?

Answer: Due to the location of Higher One, it may take several days before your money is placed into your account. Check deposits deposits are overnighted to Higher One. For this reason it will take about 2-3 business days before the money is put into your account. If you use the HigherOne Mobile App the check will be deposited in 24-48 hours.

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How is the Bearkat OneCard related to the OneAccount?

Answer: Your Bearkat OneCard is used to access your OneAccount. In order to use the OneAccount, all you have to do is select to open a OneAccount when you activate your BearKat OneCard. Once you have activated your OneAccount, the Bearkat OneCard also functions as a debit card. This provides you the power to pay wherever MasterCard is accepted; over 24 million locations worldwide. The OneAccount is a debit card (not a credit card) so you also won’t have to worry about a bill at the end of the month. Payments are deducted automatically from your OneAccount at the time of your purchase.

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What is the difference between the Bearkat Express and the Bearkat OneAccount?

Answer: Your Bearkat OneCard allows you to access two accounts. The Bearkat Express (for on-campus dining only) and the OneAccount. For more information, check out the BearkatOne Tips.

Add Money or Check Bearkat Express Balance

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Why must I activate my Bearkat OneCard?

Answer: Activation of the ID card verifies Sam Houston State University you have received your card. Also the Bearkat OneCard is your Sam Houston Official University Identification Card. The ID must be presented to university officials upon request. Activation of the OneAccount is only an option. If your card is not activated, access will be denied to housing, dining hall, HKC, library and other university facilities.

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How to activate your Bearkat OneCard?

Answer: Once you receive your Bearkat OneCard, the activation process takes place online at Click the secure link and enter your card number. The online activation process is where you can set your preferences for receiving money from SHSU.

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What does CVV2 mean?

Answer: If you need to reset your password for any reason. You might run into a question asking you to enter your CVV2. CVV2 is the Security Code that is printed directly on the back of your card. It is the last three digits that appear after the 4-digit number in the signature panel on the back of your card.



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How do I activate my replacement Bearkat OneCard?

Answer: After you report the loss of your Bearkat OneCard, you should receive your replacement card in the mail. If your original card was already activated you do not need to repeat the same process. Simply log on to your Bearkat One account and update your status under profile.

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What should I do if I don’t receive my Bearkat OneCard?

Answer: When a card is ordered, you should receive that card in about 7 – 10 days. If you have not received your card, contact the Bearkat OneCard Office. We will check the status and estimated arrival date of your card order. If the card was not received, we will reorder it and have it sent to the OneCard office. The card office will contact you when it arrives and it will be available for pickup in our office in the Estill Building, Suite 230.

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