Financial Concerns


We recommend opening a bank account at a local bank after arrival in Northfield. During the International Student Orientation time is set aside to open an account. You can deposit some money in the form of travelers' checks; additional funds can be wired from overseas soon afterward.

We recommend opening a bank account at a local bank AFTER arrival in Northfield.  Establishing a bank account before becoming a resident in the United States is rather complicated and students will have time during International Student Orientation to open an account.  Most banks require a minimum deposit but additional funds can be wired from overseas later on.

In addition to a minimum deposit, banks will ask for your passport, your F or J visa, and other required information before they can open your account.


Students are strongly urged to bring traveler's checks and not to carry large amounts of cash. Students should, however, have $150 to $250 available to cover immediate expenses such as transportation and tips. This amount can easily be exchanged for U.S. currency at the airport of entry. ATMs (Automated telling machines, money dispensers) are another option for obtaining cash. Most ATM's in the US will accept credit or bank cards with the "PLUS," "Cirrus," "NCE," or "Yankee 24" Logo.

Carleton College is an expensive community. We advise students to have about $700 in available to cover such one-time expenses as textbooks for the term, linens, newspapers or magazines, and other miscellaneous items including toiletries, desk lamps, and other personal articles. Once you establish a bank account, you can pay for many personal purchases by check or Bank Debit Card. Photo identification (such as a passport or U.S. driver's license) is always required to cash a check. You may also apply for a non-driver Identification card at the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Wiring funds to Carleton College:

If you prefer to submit payment for tuition and fees directly from abroad, you may wire funds to the Carleton College bank account.  You should contact the Business Office for further instructions on how pay from an international account.