Before beginning your travel to Northern Kentucky University, please remember that your initial expenses here will be considerably higher than those you will incur later. Therefore, it is necessary for you to bring at least $2,000 in United States currency or traveller’s checks to cover these expenses.
Before or shortly after you arrive, you will need to pay for:
You must figure your finances carefully and plan on these expenses without help from the University.
To prepare to meet your financial needs for the entire year, you should make the necessary arrangements with your government, your sponsor, and any banks involved to ensure that these funds will be available to you. Remember that checks drawn on foreign banks will require several weeks to clear and therefore you will not have access to those funds right away.
As you begin to settle in to life in Northern Kentucky and begin your academic life at NKU, you will need to open a bank account. When you open an account with a bank, most banks require two pieces of identification, such as your passport and NKU ID. Before you go to the bank, you need to be familiar with the basic customer identification programs that financial institutions must follow in opening any new accounts. The financial institution that you set up your account with is ultimately your choice, but we highly recommend setting up your initial account with US Bank, which has a full-service location on NKU's campus and is experienced in working with international students.
We recommend setting up your account during orientation week. You will need the following documentation:
Banks offer different types of checking accounts designed to fit individual needs. The cost of checking varies from bank to bank. Some banks charge per transaction, some have a basic monthly fee, and others offer free services if you maintain a certain minimum balance in your account at all times.
You should be able to access information regarding your personal account, including all transactions and deposits, through the bank's website. This will be secure information that only you can access.
Be careful to keep an accurate record of every check you write in order to avoid having checks returned and incurring additional charges. “Bouncing” a check (writing a check for more money than you actually have in the account) is illegal and can cost you time and money. Through some banks, you can apply for a line of credit attached to your checking account that provides overdraft protection.
A debit card, also known as a check card, allows you to withdraw or deposit money to your bank account using an automatic teller machine (ATM) and to make purchases at stores that accept the card. Some debit cards carry a credit-card logo (such as Mastercard or Visa), and can be used in place of a check or credit card. Debit cards are not credit cards, however, and they can be used only to pay with funds in the account to which they are linked.
Credit cards may be convenient, especially if you unexpectedly have major expenses. You can pay University and medical fees, airplane tickets and car repairs with any major credit card. However, you can easily accumulate large bills with credit cards, and before you know it, you may be in debt.
Before you accept a credit card, you must be sure to understand all your obligations. Most banks charge an annual fee. If you are unable to pay your full balance each month, you will be charged high interest rates (usually 18% or higher) on the remaining balance and any additional charges you make. Make sure you stay within your budget when making credit card purchases.
A savings account enables you to save money and accumulate interest on your savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly. The difference between a savings and a checking account is that you cannot write checks on a savings account.
To cash a check, you will need to endorse it by signing your name on the back. In addition, you will be asked for personal identification in the form of a driver’s license, a State of Kentucky ID card, or a NKU ID card. Some stores will cash a check for you if you shop there regularly. Supermarkets may allow you to pay by check, with authorization from their credit department, if you present the ID they request (usually a Kentucky driver’s license).
Many banks issue cards that enable you to deposit and withdraw money 24 hours a day by use of an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). These machines, which are frequently located outside the bank, are very convenient. By using a bank card, customers avoid waiting in line at the bank and have access to funds or money after the bank closes. Banks that are members of a national ATM network allow you to access your funds with your bank card at selected ATMs throughout the country. There are many ATMs located on campus.
The subject of taxation can be complicated for Americans, let alone visitors to the United States. ISSS is here to assist you in any way we can. Our responsibility in this area is to assist individuals and departments in understanding and complying with US Treasury regulations on taxation.
Our day-to-day functions primarily involve assisting visitors and departments with completing documents at the beginning of any employment/scholarship contract (W-4’s 8233’s, W-9’s, W-8BENS). We also coordinate a variety of programs to provide tax return filing assistance for non-resident and resident aliens, even if they are no longer in the United States. View our Tax Information for more detailed information on paying your taxes in the U.S.