ID Cards & Bearbucks
The PolarExpress Card
The PolarExpress card is the permanent University Identification card for students, staff, and faculty of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. This card includes your name, photograph, UA identification number, and library number. A central database contains the information needed to identify the buildings and rooms you may access, meal plan type, some account balances, library check-outs, computer lab access, and other activities. This information is electronically stored on the magnetic strip of the PolarExpress card.
The account balances on the card refer to monetary funds which may be added to the card for making copies, printing documents, purchasing food on campus inn dining facilities and vending machines, as well as some off-campus locations. These declining balance funds are called Bear Bucks. Every PolarExpress card includes a Bear Bucks account so you can decide if you want to use that feature or not. Many meal plans include Munch Money, which may be used for food purchases.
All currently registered students and continuing employees should come in to our office located in Signers' Hall to obtain a PolarExpress card. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are closed 8 a.m to 10 a.m on Wednesday due to a staff meeting. To get your first PolarExpress card, come in to our office, fill out an application, bring in your government issued photo ID (driver’s license, military ID, or passport,) we will make you a card for free!
The PolarExpress card is a permanent card, valid for two years after the holder’s last affiliation with the University. All privileges expire upon departure from the University, with the exceptions of your Bear Bucks and Munch Money accounts. Holders who return to the University system within two years and no longer have their PolarExpress Card must purchase a replacement card.
Notify the PolarExpress office immediately if you lose your card, 474-7384 and select menu option #2. If you call after business hours, the card will be deactivated the following business day. In all cases, your card will be deactivated, until you stop by our office to get a replacement. If you find your card, bring it to the PolarExpress Office to have it reinstated. We cannot reinstate ID cards over the phone.
Come by our office to replace a damaged, lost or stolen card. You will be charged $10 for a replacement. If you are replacing the card due to a name change, be sure to notify the UAF Office of the Registrar of your name change. We cannot print out a card with your new name until the change has been made in the Banner database.
Never surrender your PolarExpress card to anyone as a deposit or collateral for any reason. However, your PolarExpress card remains the property of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and must be presented or surrendered upon demand by any authorized personnel.
The UAF Courtesy Card
Our Courtesy Card is for use by individuals who do not have a direct affiliation with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who want access to library privileges, use of a Bear Bucks account or the ability to use 10 block meal plans at the Lola Tilly.
Much like the PolarExpress card, a Courtesy Card includes a photo of the card holder, an ID and library card number. The cost for a Courtesy Card is $10.00, and is valid for one year from the date of purchase. For any additional accesses or privileges to be added to the card (as an example access to the Student Recreation Center) a written request from the department authorizing the access is necessary prior to adding to the card.
To obtain a Courtesy Card, come in to our office in Signers' Hall. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are closed 8 a.m to 10 a.m on Wednesday due to a staff meeting. To obtain your first courtesy Card card, come in to our office, fill out an application, bring in your government issued photo ID (driver’s license, military ID, or passport,) and $10.00 in cash, check, or credit card. Please note that during peak times of the year, it may take a week or two for the information to be added to our database before our office is able to process a Courtesy Card.
The charge for renewing an expired Courtesy Card is $10.00. Please come by the PolarExpress office to renew your card.
The University of Alaska-Fairbanks created the Bear Bucks program to be the ultimate compliment to your university experience. Your ID can be used for dining on campus, but we realize that students and parents want more. So we partnered with your favorite off campus merchants to give you the ultimate flexibility, variety and value you deserve.
Bear Bucks is an account linked to your PolarExpress card which allows you easy access to spending at a variety of locations on campus. This is a purchased value/declining balance program in which you deposit money into the account to be spent at a future time. You can deposit money into your Bear Bucks at any of the Account Management Centers on campus, at the PolarExpress System POS devices listed below, the UAF Office of the Bursar, or at the PolarExpress Office. We do not process refunds for any balances on your Bear Bucks account.
You can make a deposit in to your Bear Bucks account at the following locations:
- Wood Center , @ the Kiosk in the food court
- Rasmuson Library , next to reserve counter
- Arctic Health Research Building
- MBS Lobby
- Bunnell Computer Lab
- Reichardt Building
- Community Technical College Campus (located old courthouse @ 604 Barnette)
You may also add funds to your card from off campus! You may process a Bear Bucks deposit over the phone using a credit card by contacting the Office of the Bursar at 907-474-7384 and selecting menu option #2.. Checks may be sent to the Office of the Bursar for deposit. Please include the name and student ID number, specify the funds are for Bear Bucks, and mail it to:
UAF Office of the Bursar
First Floor Signers' Hall & 116 Eielson
P.O. Box 757640
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Once you have purchased Bear Bucks you can spend them on a variety of goods and services on campus including food, vending, copying, printing, school supplies, computer, and computer accessories. Bear Bucks can also be used to purchase textbooks online at www.uaftext2u.com. Bear Bucks are also accepted at some off campus locations.
On-Campus Bear Bucks Locations
You can use your Bear Bucks at the following on-campus locations:
* Wood Center Front Counter
* UAF Bookstore
* The Pub (Age restrictions apply)
* UAFDining Services Locations:
1. Pizza Luna
2. Polar Perks
3. Taco Construction
4. Grill 155
· West Ridge Café
· Lola Tilly Commons
· Library Book & Brew - Open during winter semesters
· Campus Cache - Open during winter semesters (including Subway)
· CTC Polar Perk
· Museum Cafe - Open during summer months
* Vending Machines:
· Gruening Building, 3rd and 4th Floors
· Bunnell, 2nd Floor
· Natural Sciences Building, 2nd Floor
· Arctic Health Research Building, 1st floor by main entrance
· Admin Services Center located on College Road
· Each of the lower campus residence Halls
NOTE: Having problems with a vending machine and need a refund?
If you have a problem with a vending machine, you may request a refund at the following locations:
· Signers' Hall Office of the Bursar
· Patty Center Ticket office
· MBS Complex Residence Life office
* Copy Pool Copiers
· BioScience Library
· Arctic Health Research Building
· Wood Center
· Printing Services
· Eielson Building
· Signers Hall
· Harper Building
· O'Neill Building
* Laser Prints
- Bunnell Computer Lab
- 24hr lab in the Library
- Library Print stations on 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors
You can make a deposit on you Bear Bucks account with a Payroll Deduction!
If you are receiving a paycheck from UAF, you may deposit any amount starting at $5.00 up to the size of your check onto a Bear Bucks account of your choice, (only 1 recipient allowed). Fill this form out and submit it to your PPA (personnel payroll assistant) or directly to HR.