Students at schools with a paid marketing agreement with a bank were assessed, on average, more than double the annual fees (or $34.34) as those students at a school without one ($15.11), according to an analysis by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group.
"An argument can be made that these institutions aren't acting in the best interest of their students," Campbell said.
"College is already one of the biggest expenses many Americans will face," conclude the authors of the report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. "Students should not have to worry about being taken advantage of by banks with which their school has developed a partnership."
Education Department press secretary Liz Hill said the bureau's research confirmed the importance of the department's upcoming pilot program, in which certain students receive their financial aid on a debit card, including a fee-free option.
A spokesperson for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said the CFPB doesn't comment on unpublished studies.
Before you sign up for a bank account recommended by your school, shop around and learn about your other options, said Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at CreditCards.com.
Students should evaluate online banks that offer free checking accounts and withdrawals from any ATM, he added. "This way, the same account can cover all their needs, whether they're at home or at school," he said.
In addition, students might want to check out the brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions in their college town. "Do your own research — don't just take your school's word for it," he said.
There should be no charge for using a bank of the student's choosing, said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of SavingForCollege.com.
"If you use the debit card provided by the college, watch out for high fees," he added.
Some of these debit cards provide only one free withdrawal a year, he said, and the number of fee-free ATMs may be limited and can quickly run out of money.
Nearly 1 in 10 consumers with student accounts picked up 10 or more overdraft fees per year, and they paid nearly $200 on average for doing so, a previous study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found.
You have to actually opt in to an overdraft program at your bank to participate, said Matt Schulz, credit expert at CompareCards.com. That option allows your card to go through when you make purchases, even if your account is in the red — but you'll typically be charged a fee each time.
If you don't opt in, your card will just be declined if you can't afford a purchase.
Correction: This story was revised to correct the year that Wells Fargo and PNC respectively paid $2,127,554 and $7,562,570 to colleges. It was in the 2016-2017 academic year.