Upon arrival and check-in with the International Student Office, information on local banking services will be provided. There are several banks within walking distance of the University. The bank you choose depends on your banking needs and the services available.
In order to open a bank account, you'll need your passport, a local mailing address, personal information and money for a deposit. Funds deposited in your account should be in the form of a bank draft, bank wire or check.
If you have a spouse or other dependents, you may wish to open a "joint account." This kind of account allows family members to make use of funds in the account. Each family member must also provide the bank with personal information to include their name on the account.
Managing your money is essential to living in the U.S. The most common expenses students face are tuition, fees, housing, meals, health insurance, books, transportation, clothes, personal expenses, recreation, travel, taxes, family expenses, etc. While the I-20 reflects many of these expenses, a student should also be prepared for unexpected expenses.
- Keep up with your account and expenses. Review your bank statements regularly.
- Make sure you understand the bank policies and procedures, like the amount needed to open an account or the minimum balance required.
- Keep track of your expenses. Try tracking your expenses by date or by categories, like food, books, clothes, fees, and recreation.
- Pay bills on time. Companies charge a fee for late payments.
- Be careful when authorizing "automatic debits." Make sure the company you are authorizing is well known. Never allow companies to withdraw money from your account unless you authorize the transaction.
- Don't write checks for more money than is in your account. It is illegal and usually both your bank and the establishment will charge you a fee.
- Shop around. Compare different prices before buying an item.
- Before doing major shopping, get accustomed to the exchange rate, prices and store locations.
- Look for items "on sale" through advertising in newspapers, television, radio or stores displays.
- Shop at discount stores when possible.
- Look for student discounts at places like stores, theaters, museums and restaurants.
If you plan on using a credit card issued by a bank in your home country, please make sure the credit card can be used in the U.S. In the past, there have been some cases where foreign credit cards could not be used in the U.S.
A debit card provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. Its functionality is similar to writing a cheque/check as the funds are withdrawn directly from either the savings/ checking bank account (often referred to as a cheque card), or from the remaining balance on the card. The debit card is multipurpose, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash and also as a cheque guarantee card.
For more information on debit cards, contact your local banking center.
Payment for tuition, fees, room and meals are made through the university Business Office. To assist students with this, there is a payment plan available. Please see Payment Methods and Deadlines for information.