Power of Attorney

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

  1. 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:
    1. sign and deposit checks made payable to you (for educational expenses, from payroll, etc.)
    2. handle issues and access information related to your student account and financial aid
    3. process banking, insurance and medical transactions
    4. pay bills
  2. 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.
  3. What are the steps to assigning a Power of Attorney?
    Assigning Power of Attorney is a relatively simple process.
    1. Complete a Limited Power of Attorney form.
    2. Sign the document in the presence of a Notary Public.
    3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.