TAMPA, Fla. (12/4/08)--Suncoast Schools FCU has opened a branch and installed an ATM at Bowers/Whitney Career Center in Tampa, Fla., to help students keep more of their paychecks by avoiding check cashers. The move was made to help working students, said school Principal Tony Colucci (Tampa Tribune Dec. 3). Because the school is a career center, many students have part-time jobs and have had to take their paychecks to check cashers, which charge fees that take sizeable portions out of checks, Colucci told the newspaper. Some students were paying up to 18% just to cash their check. For a $100 check, that amounts to almost $20 lost, he added. After Colucci approached the credit union about opening an in-school branch, the $6 billion asset Suncoast took action and set up a place where students can conduct transactions with a teller once a week. They also can use the credit union-installed free ATM on campus. Students can open an account with a minimum of $5 and can take out as little as $1. Students have told Colucci that being able to conduct financial transactions on campus has made them feel safer and allayed fears of being robbed after cashing their paychecks. The credit union branch also has helped students budget and save, he told the paper.