As millions of students head to college over the next few weeks, credit card issuers will be making some of their last pitches to these potential cardholders before a new law severely restricts such business.

Student credit cards have long been a favorite, if controversial, way for issuers to acquire customers at the beginning of their financial lives. Affinity relationships with schools and alumni associations have also proven lucrative. But by February the opportunities will be severely narrowed by the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which will restrict the industry's ability to market or issue cards to anyone under the age of 21.

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