Handling Your Finances
International students are admitted with the understanding that adequate finances are available during their period of stay in the U.S., either from the student's own sources or from sponsors in this country or abroad. In general, scholarships and financial aid are not available to international students.
Banks offer many kinds of financial services, including checking and savings accounts, foreign currency conversion, bank drafts, money orders, credit cards, loans, interbank transfers, traveler's checks, and safe-deposit boxes for valuables. Some banks will even accept monthly payments for utility (electricity and telephone) bills. Chipola College does not operate a bank for students, though there are several banks convenient to students. Most international students are already acquainted with banks and banking. However, banks in the United States may be different from banks in other countries. There are several kinds of bank accounts available for individual use:
These are useful for earning interest (interest will vary). With this account you do not have checks.
These are used by people who want to be able to write checks in order to pay bills and for shopping; however, most stores do not accept a personal check without at least two, sometimes three, valid U.S. identifications (usually they do not accept a passport as identification, but they may accept your Chipola College identification and a driver's license).
These are a combination of a checking and savings account. With this account you can gain interest and have the benefit of checks.
To Open an Account, you must:
Go to a bank with a valid form of identification (passport or other identification).
Fill out a signature card and application form and make an initial deposit.
Make sure you have enough money to use until you can withdraw from your account since the initial deposit may take about two weeks to clear, before you can withdraw money from your new account.
Some important things to remember:
When you have a check that is written out to you and you want to cash it, take it to your bank.
This is given to you if you open a checking account. It includes a register on which you can record your deposits and withdrawals. It will help you keep an accurate balance and avoid writing checks that you do not have the funds for in your account.
You have to fill out a "deposit slip" at the bank, and present this along with the check(s) or cash to the bank teller. Make sure you sign the check on the reverse side in order to endorse it.
Many banks issue cards that make their deposit and withdrawal services available to you 24 hours a day by use of an automatic teller machine (ATM). These machines are located outside the banks in various places. It is convenient to have a bank card to avoid long lines at the bank and to have easy access to cash after banking hours or in case of an emergency. This is what a bank card looks like:
Safe Deposit Boxes:
For a small yearly sum, you can rent a safe deposit box where you can keep jewelry and important papers.
How to use a check:
(1) Account Title
The name and address to whom the account belongs.
The person or company to whom the check is made payable.
(3) Face and Body Amount
The face amount is a numerical expression of the check's worth. The body amount, written by hand or imprinted by machine, is considered to be the legal amount.
(4) MICR Encoding
Numerals on the bottom of the check. A computer reads this information and then sorts the check properly.
(5) Account Number
Most checks have a seven or eight digit account number for bank records.
(6) Customer's Check Number
This number identifies the check for your records.
(7) Bank Number
This fraction indicates which bank in the United States issued the check.
All checks must include the date on which they were written.
(9) Maker's Signature
Authorized signer (you) on the account.