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Transaction Fee Notification

Four years ago, the district made it possible for parents to make payments online using a credit/debit card. It’s an option that is certainly convenient for parents, however, as with all credit/debit card transactions, there is an accompanying transaction fee. Olentangy Schools has covered these fees since 2016 totaling almost $700,000, but given the increase in number of transactions over the years and the district’s continued effort to model fiscal responsibility, those fees will no longer be absorbed.

Starting August 7, 2019, a fee of $2.50 will be added to all credit/debit card transactions processed through PowerSchool. The $2.50 is an average of the fees each brand of credit card charges for processing.

To minimize credit/debit card transaction fees, we have the following recommendations:

  • Make larger, less frequent deposits into lunch accounts.

  • Pay multiple charges at one time (school fees, lunch accounts, etc.) as the fee applies per transaction, not per item.

  • Fees may be paid by check at your child’s school, and lunch payments may be paid by check or cash with your child’s cafeteria manager and staff.

  • Online bill pay through your banking institution is accepted and the district’s banking information is not needed to set it up. When you contact your banking institution, you will need to provide your student’s school building address, student’s name, student’s school ID number, and reason for payment.

  • You can pay for multiple students, fees, forms, etc. with only one transaction as the fee is only applied when you enter/process your debit/credit card.


We appreciate your cooperation with this districtwide update. Olentangy Schools is one of the last districts to pass this fee onto parents. We will analyze the fee each year to ensure its remains appropriate.

Transaction Fee FAQs

Is it unique for a school district to charge credit/debit card transaction fees?
Our district is one of the last to pass this fee onto to the parent.  This decision falls in line with other educational institutions.

Why is this fee being applied now?
Four years ago, the district made it possible for parents to make payments online using a credit/debit card. It’s an option that is certainly convenient for parents, however, as with all credit/debit card transactions, there is an accompanying transaction fee. Olentangy Schools has covered these fees since 2016 totaling almost $700,000, but given the increase in number of transactions over the years and the district’s continued effort to model fiscal responsibility, those fees will no longer be absorbed.

Why is the fee $2.50 and not a percentage?
The $2.50 is an average of the swipe fees each brand of credit card charges for processing.

Does the fee apply to all transactions?
The fee applies to each credit/debit card transaction. It is not applied to each item within the cart. We encourage parents to pay multiple items at one time (school fees, lunch accounts, etc.) as the fee applies per cart transaction, not per item.

How can parents minimize credit card transaction fees?

  • You can pay for multiple students, fees, forms, etc. with only one transaction as the fee is only applied when you enter/process your debit/credit card.
  • Make larger, less frequent deposits into lunch accounts.
  • All fees and lunch payments may be paid by cash or check. All checks need to be made payable to Olentangy Local School District and should be sent to your school building. Please include your student’s name, ID number, and reason for payment in the memo section (i.e. Food Service).
  • Online bill pay through your banking institution is accepted and the district’s banking information is not needed to set it up. When you contact your banking institution, you will need to provide your student’s school building address, student’s name, student’s school ID number, and reason for payment.

I like to add money to my child’s lunch account daily/weekly to help control spending. With the credit/debit card transaction fee, this is no longer a feasible option for me. What other options do I have to control what my child spends his/her lunch balance on?

We understand that some parents either want to or need to monitor their child’s purchases. We recommend a two-step approach to reviewing and monitoring your child’s lunch purchases. First, work with your child’s cafeteria manager on what your child is allowed or not allowed to buy. The cafeteria manager is then able to place notes and restrictions on your child’s account. Additionally, we encourage parents to review their child’s purchases on PowerSchool and to have conversations with him/her about acceptable and expected purchases through the lunch line.

Who made the decision to pass through credit card transaction fees?
This decision was made by the school treasurer after data revealed that it is no longer fiscally responsible for the district to cover the cost. This decision did not require Board of Education approval because this is a fee that can be avoided through other forms of payment such as cash or check.

Could these fees have been paid in another way so the expense wouldn’t be passed along to parents?
It’s not our preference to pass along fees to parents; however, whenever funding is reallocated, someone or something is impacted. Since there are ways for parents to control the amount of transaction fees that they will pay, it was best to not reallocate district funds to cover the growing expense.