We recommend that students studying off campus select someone to attend to their financial and other affairs while they are away. A power of attorney form is one method you might choose.
Frequently Asked Questions about Power of Attorney
Do I need a Power of Attorney while I am studying off-campus?
Alma College recommends that all students studying off-campus select a person to take care of their financial affairs while away from home. A Power of Attorney form is a document that allows the person to select someone to act as their representative in their absence. A Power of Attorney form may be needed to:
- sign and deposit checks made payable to you (for educational expenses, from payroll, etc.)
- handle issues and access information related to your student account and financial aid
- process banking, insurance and medical transactions
- pay bills
Where can I find a Power of Attorney form?
Download a Limited Power of Attorney form.
Power of Attorney forms can also be found at financial institutions, attorneys’ offices, libraries and online.
What are the steps to assigning a Power of Attorney?
Assigning Power of Attorney is a relatively simple process.
- Complete a Limited Power of Attorney form.
- Sign the document in the presence of a Notary Public.
- Plan to have more than one original signed because some organizations require an original or certified copy before allowing a Power of Attorney to act on your behalf.
Who should I ask to be my Power of Attorney?
Ask the individual’s permission before appointing her/him as your Power of Attorney.
You should select a person you consider trustworthy to make decisions in your best interests and to sign on your behalf. Most students select a parent, family member, significant other or long-term friend. A casual acquaintance is NOT recommended.
What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a person designated by the U.S. government to confirm that a document is legal. Many banks, post offices, county offices have someone on their staff that is a Notary Public; you can also find one in the Yellow Pages.
On campus, a Notary Public should be contacted in advance for an appointment to have your signature notarized. Bring your driver’s license or government I.D. to the meeting.
Notary Publics on campus:
How long should I have a Power of Attorney?
If you plan to travel prior to and/or after your off-campus study experience, the Power of Attorney should include the entire time you plan to be away.
How far in advance should I begin arranging for Power of Attorney?
Arrange your Power of Attorney well in advance of your departure. Give the notarized original document(s) to your Power of Attorney. Keep a photocopy for your records.