From living in a new place with new people to the financial distress of tuition and buying books, college can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. In most cases, you will be focused solely on school, leaving you no time to focus on your banking needs. Opening a reliable bank account will be beneficial even if you are in school full-time. Unfortunately, you may not know which bank is right for you and your needs. With this guide, you will learn about the must-have bank account features every college student needs.

No Fees

One of the most important features you need in a bank account involves maintenance fees. While surprising to learn, these simple fees can really add up. Over a decade, maintenance fees can total around $1,000.

Depending on what your specific bank offers, the fees may be more or less. Therefore, you should only open accounts with banks that do not charge any maintenance fees. A checking account with no fees is both important and possible. 

As a full-time student, you most likely lack funds for basic living expenses, so you will not have any money left to pay unnecessary bank fees. Research the different banks in your given area to determine what fees they charge and if they have any special accounts designed for students.

Your bank should not charge a monthly maintenance fee, ATM fees, or minimum balance fees. Money transfer, from account to account, should also be free, since this may be how you receive money from your parents. Online banking services should also be free.


Again, you are probably spending most of your time on school, so you should not be spending an excess amount of time handling your bank accounts. When researching the different banks, focus on the ones that are most convenient.

Location does matter, especially if you will need to visit the bank to deposit checks and withdraw cash. If you do not have your own vehicle or public transportation, choose a bank that you can walk or bike to.

Most of the larger national banks have numerous locations with many having a big presence on college campuses. These will not only be easy to access, but they may also offer benefits for college students, such as waived fees and lower interest rates for credit cards and student loans.

Many students will open accounts at the same banking institution as their parents, which will allow them to send and receive money between accounts for free. If your parent's bank is not located in close proximity to your residence, this can become a problem. Be sure to open an account with a bank that allows money transfers between accounts from other banks.