International Student Cash & Banking
You will need to get an American bank account. There are several banks located in Edmond and some are within walking distance of campus. Each of them offers slightly different services, so feel free to check them out. You probably want to get a bank that offers free checking and no fees, as well as free online banking. Most students open an account at Bank of America because they offer free services, including currency exchange. If you wish to open a bank account, ask someone to help you.
Visa Debit Card
Most banks will provide you with a visa debit card. This is not a credit card. It can be used like a credit card to purchase items or pay bills but the funds come directly out of your bank account. You can also use this card to take cash out of your bank account using an ATM.
An ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) is a place where you can withdraw cash from your bank account. If you use an ATM that is owned by the bank where you have an account, then there is no charge; if the ATM is not owned by your bank, then you will have to pay a small fee in order to withdraw money from it.
When you open a bank account, you will receive a checkbook and usually some welcome checks. If you do not know how to write a check, ask the banker when you are opening your account and he or she will show you how to use it. Checks can be very useful, especially when you need to pay for school!
You may receive several things in your campus mail addressed to you and inviting you to apply for a credit card. Some students will have credit cards, but you must use them wisely. If you choose to get a credit card, you must always pay the balance when it is due, or you will be charged huge fees.
Many students have their bank issue them a money order to pay for school. If you have money in your account to cover the money order, the bank will write you a check made out to the school so that you can pay your bill. There will be a small fee for this service at most banks. Money orders are also useful when you are paying other expensive bills.
Many students buy stuff online (especially books). Online shopping is a cheap alternative to many things, but make sure the website is secure before entering your credit card information. Also, make sure your billing and shipping address are correct so that your purchase will process.
As an international student, you will be required to fill out a tax form in the spring. You do not have to pay taxes unless you get a job on campus or otherwise earn income. If you do choose to get a job on campus, however, then you will have to fill out two tax forms. You will receive more information about this next semester.
Every student must pay a housing deposit of $125.00. When you move out, or move to a different dorm, you will get your deposit back as long as there are no damages to your room.
Winter Break Housing
The campus closes for winter break, but housing will remain open. If you choose to stay on campus during those three weeks, you must pay a fee of $25 a night. You will receive more information about this option and process in November.
Payment of your school fees is due the first week of school. All of your charges for housing, meal plan and tuition will be placed on your student account and must be paid in full for each semester. There is a fee for using a credit card to pay for your school fees. However, if you pay for school by wire transfer, cash, check or money order, then you will not be charged an additional fee. You can do an electronic check with your bank debit card to pay on your student account. If you need assistance, please contact the Office of International Programs Financial Services. They will be able to explain how you can pay for school and receive funds from your parents back home into your US bank account.
Many students seek other scholarship opportunities to help make school more affordable. Several departments offer scholarships, and there are lots of offerings posted on OC’s website and in your student announcements. For questions about scholarships that might apply to you, please contact your recruiter.
In case you did not know, F-1 international students are not allowed to work off-campus. However, there are plenty of on-campus jobs for which you may apply. These jobs include working at the front desk in residence halls, serving in the Cafeteria or being a student worker for a department, as well as many other opportunities. If you are interested in getting a job, visit myOC and click the myServices link.
Social Security Number
The only way to get a SSN is to get an on-campus job. After you are hired, you will need to stop by our office to get an employment letter. Then you will take that letter to your supervisor to fill out. Then you will return the letter to our office. You will need a social security number if you plan on getting paid from your job through a bank account, and some car dealerships also require one.