Before your child sets up his/her account, they need to ask about the following: What is the minimum balance requirement? How much is overdraft protection? Are there any ATM fees associated with the account? And, because students spend most of their time online, is there an online banking option and if so, is it free?
Additionally, you may want to consider setting up a small savings account for them to access for emergency use only. Therefore, you can link their debit card to both the checking and savings account, which will save your student (and you) major fees in case they spend more than they have. Finally, it is a good idea to have your child ask the bank to send duplicate statements to their home address for their freshman year; that's an easy way to keep track of your child's spending.
Credit cards are fast becoming as synonymous with college as dorm rooms and mascots. In fact, according to a survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, two-thirds of all college students have at least one credit card and the typical student will graduate with nearly $3,000 in debt.
I am actually a proponent of a student getting a credit card at college. Having a credit card is a good way to establish credit and is an important lifeline in case of a real emergency. However, the credit card should not be a parent's. It should be in the student's name and maintained by them only.
Unfortunately, there is no simple prescription for health insurance for college students. The two most common ways are to keep your child on your family coverage (most plans let you do this for children up to age 25 as long as they are full-time students) or to sign them up for insurance directly through their college or university. Premiums and deductibles vary depending on the school, so make sure you ask the financial aid or student affairs office.
Keep in mind, many schools offer their own health centers with routine clinical services at no charge, but students are typically billed for X-rays, procedures and other treatments.
There are a couple other points to consider with insurance. One is that your home insurance usually covers a student living in a dorm room. However, the coverage amount varies, so check with your insurance agent.
And, finally, when it comes to your car, you should also check in with your agent and let them know your child is going off to school. In most cases, your premium may decrease as much as 30 percent if your child is attending a school outside of your local area.