Money & Banking


Before coming to the U.S., familiarize yourself with procedures for transferring funds from your home country. Upon arrival be prepared to pay your initial expenses for tuition, room and board, books, health insurance, and personal items. Banks and savings associations are located near the OSU campus. Shortly after your arrival, you will want to select a bank and open a checking or savings account. For safety reasons, you should carry any large sums of money ($50 or more) in the form of draft checks or traveler's checks. However, plan to carry some change for small items and phone calls.

Tuition and other educational expenses (such as fees, on-campus housing, and meal plans) are to be paid at the beginning of each term. (Please note that some departments have additional instructional fees.) If you have been awarded a graduate teaching or research assistantship or a tuition waiver, you still must pay student fees of approximately $500 at the beginning of each term. You should come prepared to pay living expenses, as your first salary payment may not be available for 6-8 weeks after you arrive.

If you plan to live off campus, bring enough money to cover initial expenses such as rent and utility (gas, electric and telephone) deposits. These deposits and the first month's rent may range from $1,000 to $1,500. There may also be expenses for household items (furniture, kitchen equipment, etc.).

If you expect funds from your home country for your OSU studies, ensure that satisfactory arrangements for payment are made before you depart. You should know your government's regulations on currency exchange and bank procedures for money transfers to the United States. Delays in the transfer of educational funds can create hardship and inconvenience. Financial assistance for international students in the U.S. is extremely limited. Furthermore, U.S. immigration regulations governing the employment of non-immigrant students are very strict. Therefore, you should plan to have at least one full month's living expenses in reserve at all times.


There are many different banks in Corvallis. You can find which banks have local offices by looking in the Corvallis phone book (Type "Corvallis" and look in the "Finance" section). You can find out more information about the policies and procedures of each bank by looking at the bank's Web site.

Most banks offer a variety of accounts, each with different benefits and requirements. Because selecting an account type can be a confusing process, you may want to seek the assistance of a customer service representative (often called a member service representative or personal banker) at your chosen bank. This person will be happy to explain details about bank services and help you decide which account is best for you.

If you anticipate transferring money between your home country and your US bank account, you should discuss the processing time and fees associated with international wires and deposits.

Checking Accounts: Checking accounts are designed for paying bills and general living expenses, allowing unlimited deposits and withdrawals each month. When you open a checking account, you receive checks, deposit slips, and a transaction register. You can also request an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card that will allow you to withdraw or deposit money at ATM terminals worldwide.

Each month, you will receive a statement from your bank, which provides a record of all transactions that have taken place in your account during the month.

Savings Accounts: Savings accounts are designed to store money for long periods of time. Savings accounts often have a limit on the number of withdrawals that can be made each month. Money usually earns a small amount of interest.

If you anticipate depositing large sums of money for longer than a year, you should discuss other account options with a bank representative. Banks offer a variety of accounts that pay higher amounts of interest than savings accounts.

Banking Terms:
ATM: Automatic Teller Machines are machines where you can withdraw money from or deposit money into your account by using an ATM card. ATMs can be found in many convenient locations both in Corvallis and the State of Oregon as well as in many countries throughout the world.
Balance: The amount of money remaining in your account after adding all deposits made, and deducting all checks written and cash withdrawn from the ATM.
Bounced check: A check, which is returned because there is not enough money in your account. You may be required to pay a substantial fine for each bounced check.
Debit Card: A card that can be used at stores and businesses to pay for goods or services. The money is withdrawn from your checking account.
Deposit: Money added to your account.
Minimum balance: The smallest amount of money you must maintain in your account in order to receive certain benefits such as free checking service.
Overdraft: A charge to your account that exceeds the amount of your balance.
PIN: a Personal Identification Number is a number you must enter into ATM machines or phone services before you can have access to your account. The PIN is used as a safety measure to ensure that you are the only person to use your account.