Knowledge is priceless so know your bank.

-Tyler Conover

The Dilemma 

It was Monday morning and KU senior Dustin Winthrop was in a hurry. He had less than one hour to get to campus. This is usually plenty of time, but he had run out of food the night before. Even though he had yet to eat, shower or brush his teeth, he figured he would just stop by McDonald’s on the way to campus instead of the grocery store, and be right on time. But, as he was getting dressed, he remembered he didn’t have enough money for breakfast in his checking account. With his bank all the way across town, he would not have time to transfer money into his checking account and make it to class on time. No McD’s Breakfast? A disparaging thought indeed.

The Solution

So, how did Winthrop deal with his predicament? He pulled out his iPhone and opened the Bank of America app he had downloaded for free. He proceeded to transfer money from his savings account into his checking account, enabling him to pay for breakfast and make it to campus for his 8:30 a.m. class.

It is this type of convenient technology that allows national banks like Bank of America to retain customers despite having, for some, inconvenient locations. Winthrop chose Bank of America while living in Texas because it was the closest bank to his house. Now that he lives in Lawrence, the closest branch is several miles from his house but that is not a huge problem for him.

“I pretty much never go by the bank, I do almost everything online,” Winthrop said. “I don’t interact with them too much because I don’t really use my credit card, I just use my debit card.”

The Future

Now that national banks have technology that allows customers like Winthrop to access their bank accounts without ever having to set foot inside the banks, all other banks will have to adapt, says KU School of Business Communications Coordinator, Austin Falley.

The banking experience for college students has changed immensely during the past 25 years. Once, a balanced checkbook was the only option a student had to manage money. Today, while checking accounts still come with checks, they also come with the option to schedule bill payments online, eliminating the need to write checks. Falley believes online access is essential for a bank account today.

“Online banking has made it so much easier to handle your finances as a college student,” Falley said.

Banking technology is getting much broader than smart phone apps. Now banks such as Ally do everything online, eliminating the need to build a branch in every city, or a world headquarters. This means fewer day-to-day costs which, in theory, will benefit the customer while making the overall process less complicated.

“They [virtual bank customers] don’t even need standard checks or any other kind of resource,” Falley said. “It is really just a matter of having a debit-card tied to a virtual account.”

For those who still want to see a bank teller face-to-face on occasion, Falley suggests a number of things to look for in terms of online banking through a traditional bank.

“Can you pay your bills online, can you transfer money and can other people transfer money into your account? I think that is the biggest benefit for our age group,” Falley said.

New City, No Problem

Ali McGee, like Winthrop, moved to Lawrence with a bank account already established, but unlike Winthrop she did not choose her bank based on proximity. She chose her bank when she was in junior high because it is where her parents banked. She has had Commerce ever since and is pleased with all its services. McGee says she didn’t bother looking for a bank when she moved to Lawrence because there is a Commerce Bank in the union, and she has yet to have any problems.

“It seems like they have a lot of locations around Lawrence and an ATM on Mass [street] which is legit,” McGee said. Convenience is a positive, but the biggest draw for McGee is the service. For more than a decade she has used their services and did not have one bad thing to say. “They are actually super helpful all the time.”

Falley says McGee is one of many students who move away from home to go to school, but stick with their banks. Falley suggests this is because national banks are more convenient for out-of-town students.

“If you are from a different region I would recommend using one of the national banks we have in town like Bank of America. I mean you can find a Bank of America branch in any metropolitan in the country,” Falley said.

With all of the new technology and innovation coming from the banking world, choosing a bank might seem more complicated, but it is actually easier than before. This is due to the fact banks are becoming more transparent than ever with rates and fees, coupled with how much information is available at your fingertips. So, as this overhaul continues make sure your bank has everything you need. As Falley points out, some might have more than you can imagine.

“I have a buddy in Chicago. I designed his resume for him and he emailed me $50,” Falley said. “He was able to email, just through my email address, email me cash. It amazes me that we can do that kind of stuff nowadays.”

Falley discusses more factors that play into choosing a bank

Choosing a bank is a big decision and you can never be too informed for such decisions. So, here is Austin Falley sharing a little bit more insight on the process of narrowing down the right bank for students.

here is a map of some of the branches in Lawrence lawrence banks 4

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From selling used books to preventing crooks. Here is what you need to know.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/used-books-illegal_n_2236781.html

One of the worst parts of paying for text books is when you buy a text book for class and then when you go to sell it back the bookstore only offers 40 percent of what it originally cost. Well, what if it was illegal to sell those books back at all? The above article shows one students struggle to sell his used books.

 

http://www.omaha.com/article/20121204/NEWS/121209843/1707

Being out at the mall for the holidays, one is sure to see hectic paced shoppers and long lines during the day, but at night when the frenzied shoppers dissipate the sights change. Police in Nebraska have sent out a safety checklist to help keep late night shoppers as safe as possible.

 

http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2012/12/04/open-enrollment-for-prepaid-college-tuition-program/

Paying for college is something that can be burdensome for families, especially as rates rise. So, what if when your child was in, let’s say, third grade you could pay their whole college tuition at the current rate? In Nevada the state wants to know, so it is experimenting with prepa

Comparing banks in Lawrence, Kan.

The residents around Lawrence are aware that there are  multiple banks around town because they can see them while out and about, but they might not know what each bank offers. So, as of now, It is my assumption that my audience does not know too much about the topic other than the banks logos.

Readers will know what each bank offers and will have the information necessary to decide which bank fits best with them.

After a holiday away here is some news from those days.

http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/20121124163646603

Shopping for Christmas is an annual errand list that is usually too hectic and too expensive, and since the Thanksgiving leftovers are all but gone that means it is almost December 1 again. Time to write up the shopping lists and make sure the credit cards are not yet maxed out. However, before leaving the house reading this article could help you enjoy your new-year with a little less debt.

http://news.world.edu/?Xc4YltVh

How much did you spend this semester on text books? If it was more than you would have liked then look at this solution that one university is experimenting with to help lessen those prices.

http://digitaltexan.net/2012/state/texas-democrats-control-regulate-college-tuition/article43173/#.ULPeLIfhorw

While the national cost of tuition rises on average every year, in Texas it rises even more sharply. Since the state government enabled colleges to regulate tuition prices the cost of tuition has been rising at an above average rate. Check this article out to make sure this problem does not migrate north.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/how-to-save-money-by-donating-your-body-to-science_b_2162564.html

How much does it cost to die? Well, it may be more than you expect. Even if this article does not pertain to you it provides insight on how some choose to advance science while avoiding financial burden after death.

Choosing a bank is more important than you might think.

-Tyler Conover

For most college students banking is a simple concept. As long as the little amount of money they have is accessible whenever they need it, and fees are not outrageous, all banks start on a level playing field.

Then factors such as location and customer service come in to the equation. After all is taken into consideration the final decision appears to come down to a few simple reasons.

So, in Lawrence, Kan., where Commerce and Bank of America both have more than two locations, and both have an ATM in the KU Union. What are the reasons that students choose one over the other? For Ali McGee, Dustin Winthrop and Vinny Gutierrez, respectively, their choice is based on a specific feature.

“It seems like they have a lot of locations around Lawrence and an ATM on Mass [street] which is legit,” McGee said. Convince is a positive but the biggest draw for McGee is the service. For more than a decade she has been with Commerce and she has never had any negative experiences. “They are actually super helpful all the time.”

For McGee, choosing a bank was not a difficult decision. When she was old enough to open an account she chose her parents bank, and fortunately it has been reliable. Winthrop however, who is from Texas, made his choice before he came to Kansas.

None of the Bank of America locations in Lawrence are close to his apartment, but he doesn’t let that hinder his shopping habits.

“It sucks if I am just going to the bank, but if I am going to campus or downtown it isn’t a problem,” Winthrop said. “I usually pay with my card anyway so getting out cash doesn’t really become a problem.” The drive might be a little bit farther now, but Bank of America works for Winthrop so his choice is a good example of why making sure the overall banking expectations are met when deciding on a bank. There are more important factors than location.

Now that almost everyone has a cell phone, tablet or some other sort of mobile device, online banking is a tool that every bank must be able to use proficiently. Gutierrez, like Winthrop, uses Bank of America, but he made his choice based on the fact that Bank of America is able to assist him no matter which avenue he chooses.

“I get free checking which is nice, plus I love their service and their app is easy to use,” Gutierrez Said. “I have been with them [Bank of America] for a while and have never really had any problems. If I did I would probably not still be there.”

While there are many banks in Lawrence only a few have as many locations as Bank of America and Commerce. Both offer free online banking and free checking after you purchase the checks. For the three people in this story deciding on a bank was based on immediate needs more than long term benefits. All three conceded that if they needed more than ATM and checking their decision would have been taken more seriously.

“I was like 16 [when I chose my bank] and now I don’t even have enough money in my checking account to go to Pachamamas for dinner, so I don’t really think about it a lot,” Winthrop said.

here is a look at how convenient these banks are by the numbers

From shopping to homework getting through the holidays isn’t easy, but these stories might help.

http://madisoncountycourier.com/?p=38427

For those who like to go shopping as soon as the stores open at midnight after thanksgiving getting a good deal is obviously important to you, But New York State Police Officers believe the most pertinent item on your list is safety. Here are a few of their suggestions to help.

 

http://newsok.com/for-profit-colleges-cost-more-leave-students-with-greater-debt-than-public-institutions/article/3729977/?page=2

Ever thought about earning a college degree from somewhere like the University of Phoenix? This story details a bus driver’s attempt to get a degree while working. Even if attending a private institute is not in your future this is still an interesting read.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/study-finds-little-correl_n_2145434.html

Remember saying things like “Man homework sucks”? Well, a study conducted at Indiana University shows that homework does not have much positive impact on overall class grades for math and science, but did benefit test takers. European schools are also experimenting with getting rid of homework.

how curtailing habits now can help you later.

-Tyler Conover

Holiday season has arrived which means the delicious meals and themed parties are fast approaching. For many people this time of year is dominated by travel plans and migrating families, and the combination of the two can make it difficult to keep up with your daily routine.

While seeing family and having fun are what the holidays are about on the surface when looking past the gravy laced stuffing and the living room filled with presents some might begin to notice that their pants are becoming tighter by the day and the leftover pies are not disappearing. So the looming question is how to enjoy the best parts of the season while avoiding the repercussions?

Not everyone gains weight during the holidays, but overeating can leave you feeling bogged down and cantankerous. According to health.harvard.edu if you are able to realize your food habits and flex your will power then escaping the year with cheery tidings instead of heavy dining will be a cake walk. The benefits of keeping a moderate head on your shoulders during November and December will make transitioning back into everyday life much more stress-free.

What a financial train wreck looks like.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/11/state-universities-tuition-freeze-budget-cuts/1698379/

The price of college is often a concern for families, but lately institutions have been feeling the burden of rising costs also. As a result there have been proposals to freeze tuition rates in an effort to regain state funding.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/colleges-eye-fees-for-students-who-linger_2012-11-11.html

If you answer the question “Are you a junior or a senior?” with: neither, I am a super senior than this article will be an interesting read. For colleges in California that demographic is taking up valuable roster space and will now be charged more to remain in college.

http://www.jconline.com/article/20121111/NEWS0501/311110032/Purdue-students-have-a-lot-to-lose-in-fiscal-cliff?nclick_check=1

Driving off a cliff is not a wise move for obvious reasons, but for some colleges the cliff is fast approaching and the break lines are severed. This article details what the wreck might look like if the emergency break fails to stop the speeding vehicle.

How and when the Affordable Care Act will impact health care

On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act became a law and since then the law has been changing the way health care is being practiced in the United States. This timeline illustrates some of the more important recent and upcoming changes.

Source of information used in this graphic is healthcare.gov

The weather outside is frightful so I hope this is insightful

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20121104/NEWS/311040017?nclick_check=1

This article is a good read for graduates who have student loan debt to pay back because it shows the main differences between Obama and Romney in terms of how they will require said loans to be paid back.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/nov/04/coat-buying-tips-to-help-keep-you-warm/

With the seasons changing the temperature is on its way to below freezing which means it is about time to start bundling up before leaving the house. Usually the last layer of that bundle is a coat, and buying the right coat can be a tough decision. This article gives some good tips to those looking for a new coat.

http://www.sheboyganpress.com/article/20121104/SHE03/311040176/Ken-King-column-Holiday-shopping-tips-reduce-stress?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s&nclick_check=1

Some people love to go holiday shopping, but most people dread the long lines and the credit card abuse that is coupled with it. For the latter here are a few things that can keep you spirits up even when you are standing in line and wishing you weren’t.