Local banks provide student options

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    To regulate and monitor money, several college students at TCU turn to local big bank branches to secure their money.

    Accounts specifically for college students are the most popular among students because they could access all of their money without fees. However, few think about what happens to their accounts once they become college graduates.

    Several banks like Chase and Bank of America have targeted students with their student banking options. JPMorgan Chase Bank offers Chase College Checking. According to Chase Bank, this college account is offered to college students 17- to 24-years-old.

    Students have access to online banking, checks, automatic deposit options, debit cards, paper or paperless bank statements with no monthly service fees applied, according to Chase. Overdraft fees are applied to this account, but overdraft protection is available to prevent this from happening.

    Granted, without a monthly fee, this college account is a huge asset to students who are trying to save their money without a hand in their pocket. But these accounts are not perfect by any means.

    Natalie Look, senior strategic communication major, has used the college account since her senior year in high school. Though she said she liked Chase, she also said they have their problems.

    “With the college account, I can only make four transactions from savings to checking a month,” Look said.

    Look has student loans, which she keeps in her savings account at Chase. She said the account creates a problem when she needs to transfer money from savings to checking in order to take care of school business.

    “I need these transactions for school, so it gets annoying sometimes,” Look said.
    Despite occasional problems, Look said Chase has been good to her. With only a $25 minimum, Mobile Chase, QuickDeposits, checking and other banking goodies becomes available without fees for up to five years in college.

    Paul Linville, personal banker at Chase, said the college accounts are only accessible to students up to graduation or 24 year of age, whichever comes first. So once TCU graduates receive their diplomas in May, they will no longer be qualified for a college account. So, what happens when May rolls around?

    Those accounts  could become typical adult accounts. According to Chase, the most basic checking account requires monthly deposits totaling $500 or more or $1,500 minimal daily balance or an average daily balance of $5,000+ in linked deposits and investment accounts or $25 or more in qualifying checking-related services fees. All of those requirements must be met to waive a $12 monthly service fee.

    These requirements provide issues for a majority of students who struggle to find employment after graduation. In 2011, The New York Times published an article detailing the humbling experience of post-grad employment hunting.

    According to the article, 22 percent of college graduates in 2009 under age 25 are “working in jobs that do not require a college degree,” while 22.4 percent are not working at all. Though 55.6 percent work in jobs that require a college education, a large majority of students are struggling to get a job or find a job in their field.

    “We don’t want to fee you to death. If we know that you’re looking for a job and trying to get a job, we can work with you on a case by case basis,” Linville said.

    Chase works with recent graduates and their situations, but Linville said waivers and leeway only go so far. Their generosity extends to the customers, but the bank is a business. Its main objective is to make money.

    According to Bank of America, the eBanking option is widely used by college students. This account offers direct deposits, withdrawals from ATMs, cash back with debit card purchases and paperless account statements.

    For all balances, a 0.05 interest rate provides “a convenient way to save for the future while you earn your degree,” according to Bank of America.

    Students can avoid monthly fees if all banking activity takes place online or electronically without a teller. However, if any teller or bank representative helps with a transaction, a monthly maintenance fee of $8.95 is applied.