When looking for a bank, shop around a bit since fees can vary, and be sure to select a bank that has ATMs near your residence or work. Always inquire about no fee accounts or other special offers. Some banks will eliminate fees based on a Yale affiliation, or if you arrange direct deposit of your paycheck or stipend, while others require a minimum balance. If you will be transferring funds to and from overseas, remember to ask about the details since some banks can accommodate this better than others. Most students and scholars at Yale open both a savings and a checking account.
To open a bank account, you will need two forms of photo ID. You can use your Yale ID and passport. You will also need your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) and proof of your local New Haven address. You do not need a Social Security Number (SSN). You will fill out a W-8, which is a statement of foreign residence in lieu of presenting a Social Security card.