Establishing a U.S. Bank Account

Managing your finances can be one of the most important and challenging aspects of an enjoyable academic experience. Upon your arrival to Kent State, we encourage you to speak with a representative of a reputable local bank to learn about basic banking options available to you in the U.S. When selecting a bank, you should compare services, service charges and bank locations before making your decision.

Top Recommendations for Banking in the United States

  • Establish a U.S. bank account in order to help secure your funds and manage your finances. It can also help make paying for necessary items such as housing, food, books, and tuition easier.
  • When traveling, limit the amount of cash you carry for safety. You may want to consider getting an International Gift Card or Pre-paid Travel Card.  NOTE: Some banks may not be able to process cash advances on pre-paid travel cards, and there may be ATM fees which can be very costly. Ensure to review all tuition payments options for your university to ensure you’re selecting the one that best fits your needs.
  • Avoid sharing account numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN) or passwords with anyone.
  • Be cautious of doing business with people that you do not know.
  • Keep the bank updated on changes to your contact information and when traveling overseas.

What You'll Need

When you open a U.S. bank account, you will need two forms of identification. Your Passport is a mandatory primary form of identification, and either an I-94 form, Visa, I-20 or ESTA is acceptable as a secondary form of identification. In addition, having a local address and U.S. phone number is important when establishing a new account.  (Please note that P.O. Box will not be accepted as address)  Please note that the requirements may vary depending on the financial institution.


PNC Bank Logo



Although students can select the financial institution that best fits their financial needs, Kent State does host a trusted, reputable bank right on campus - PNC Bank. There’s an electronic office located on the first floor of the Kent Student Center with operating hours of Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Plus, PNC also has 6 ATMs located throughout campus for your added convenience. If you choose PNC Bank, they offer Virtual Wallet Student® which makes being far from home less challenging. PNC Bank offers Kent State students the option to link your PNC account to your FLASHcard. To learn more about the banking products and services offered by PNC Bank, visit or, or stop by the branch right on campus.

Learn about banking in the U.S.

PNC’s USA Banking 101 helps international students learn to manage their finances and understand, navigate and take control of their banking while at college in the U.S. This free resource provides information on key accounts and the opening process, as well as on ATMs, digital banking, wire transfers, fraud protection, building credit and more. View the guide.

1 Customers in the Student Banking program who are enrolled at a designated PNC Alliance or Access school will receive 1 free domestic or international incoming wire per statement period.  Otherwise, a $15 incoming wire fee will apply to all incoming wires.

Virtual Wallet Student is a registered trademark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
©2021 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC

Additional resources to help avoid financial fraud and scams