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Best Ways to Get Money to Your College Student

a student walks to class on a college campus

Ensuring your young adult is properly equipped for college life is an important undertaking. And with all the excitement that the college experience brings, money should be a tool and not a concern.

There’s more to entering college than just going to class on time and making new friends. There are necessary expenses like books, class materials, supplies, as well as those hidden fees that may come out of nowhere. (A college student can quickly learn that a $5 pizza can become a $35 pizza if they bounce a check.)

There is public transportation, gas money, textbooks, parking fees, printing fees, dorm living costs, game tickets, recreation facilities fees, and more — not to mention the thousands of cafes that will charge overpriced coffee for students looking for a quiet place to study.

Even college students who are good with budgeting may find unexpected costs that arise throughout the coming semesters. Luckily, getting money to your college student is easier than ever.

Share A Bank Account

One of the easiest ways to get your college student money would be to set up a shared account that you both can access. This method may help prevent the need for money transfers, which is not always an immediate process.

Sharing an account means you will be able to view and manage the deposits and withdrawals, as well as keep track of your student’s expenses.

If your student attends a college or university where your current institution doesn’t have a branch, this could mean setting up an account with a local presence at the school. This is best done if the bank is shared between locations to minimize timing of deposits.

This experience can prove to be a simple and fast way to encourage financial responsibility in your college student and provide stability throughout their transition to adulthood. When you set up the account, sit down and set guidelines for your student’s spending. This can help them make and reach goals for saving for their future.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Services

What’s a peer-to-peer (P2P) service, you say? You’ve likely been using them for years. Apps and services such as Zelle, Paypal, and Venmo make it simple to send funds straight to separate bank accounts.

If you’re not as familiar with P2P services*, here’s an overview and some tips.

Zelle is an online money-transferring platform, allowing you to send and receive money with peace of mind. Safely and easily send money to people you know through your trusted banking app -- or the Zelle app if your bank doesn’t currently offer Zelle.

Once you enroll, all you need to send money with Zelle is the preferred email address or mobile number of your student or trusted recipient. Then, you simply enter the amount you want to send.

If your student is already enrolled with Zelle, the money will go directly into their bank account, typically in minutes. If they aren’t enrolled yet, they will get a notification explaining how to receive the money simply and quickly.

After you’re all set up, simply bookmark your student’s account and give funds whenever they need.

Venmo, Paypal, Cashapp, Apple Pay, and other messenger app pay systems can serve as alternatives. Sending money over these and other text-based services are also secure. They usually require no card information needed to be shared because it would use the information already in your device.

Later this year, Academy Bank will launch its own P2P service in partnership with Zelle. Watch for announcements about the rollout in the coming months.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards are not too difficult to get and set up. Venmo’s debit card feature can act as a prepaid system for your college student, as well.

You simply add funds to the corresponding account and are able to view the resulting withdrawals. There are no annual fees to the Venmo card, but there may be fees when money is withdrawn from an ATM, which are around $2.50.

Similarly, PayPal has a CashCard debit card that act like a prepaid card for your student. You can purchase the card at Walmart for $3. The card can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted. There is no fee for use but there is a charge of $3.95 when depositing money into the account.

Neither PayPal or Venmo are banks, but they provide secure card systems.

Use Your Student’s School

If you are signed up as a contributor to your student’s School Finances Account, you likely have the option of adding funds directly to their student account to put towards books or financial aid, as well as on-campus amenities.

Most colleges give their students an ID and have a special “currency.” For example, The University of Kansas has ‘Beak ‘Em Bucks’ and The University of Missouri has a ‘Tiger Card.’ This money is able to be used at dining halls, student stores, and sports arenas, as well as any off-campus businesses (usually restaurants) that are partnered with the school in this way.

If your intent is that your student spends the money you provide on specific things and want to track each of their expenses, this is a great way to apply some restrictions. You are usually able to see the spending history through their student account. And it should be reflected on their bill.

Academy Bank is Your Life Milestone Partner

As you and your young adult begin to navigate this transitional period, we at Academy Bank want to support you and your child.

Talk with us today to set up an account for you both, see about signing up for credit** or debit cards, or to just discuss the best ways to translate the values of financial responsibility and budgeting to your college student.

We’re ready to help.

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*Activating and Using an app of a Third Party Servicer: By adding or attempting to add your Visa debit card to a Third Party Servicer, you agree to their terms of use, as they may be modified from time to time.
Questions Concerning Third Party Servicers: Questions concerning the use of a Third Party Servicer should be directed to the Third Party Servicer. We are not the provider for the Third Party Servicer and not responsible for its use and function.
**Subject to credit approval