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Best high-yield savings accounts for college students

With the right savings account, college students can set themselves up for a more secure financial future. Getty Images

College is an exciting time in life, full of new experiences, new friends and, for many students, newfound independence. However, it also marks the start of thinking seriously about your future, including your personal finances.

Savings are an essential part of smart money management, whether you're putting aside money for spring break or creating an emergency fund to product your budget when those student loan payments start coming due. And the easiest way to grow your savings is by putting them into a high-yield savings account.

High-yield savings accounts pay you interest on the money you deposit at rates that are often 10 times higher (or more) than regular savings accounts. They're also convenient and easy to manage from anywhere at any time, making them ideal for busy college students.

But not all high-yield savings accounts are suited for young adults. For example, some have high minimum deposit requirements that are unreachable for most college students. To find the best account for your needs, you'll want to look for one that pays you well and offers the features you need.

See today's top savings rates here.

Best high-yield savings accounts for college students

The following accounts have high annual percentage yields (APYs) plus features college students will appreciate, such as easy accessibility, low or no minimum deposit requirements and no fees.

UFB High Yield Savings account: 5.25% APY

UFB Direct's High Yield Savings account offers the highest APY on this list at 5.25%.

There are no minimum deposit requirements and no monthly maintenance or service fees. In addition to an ATM card, this account gives you check-writing privileges and account management via SMS messaging. You can also deposit your check via UFB's mobile app.

UFB Direct is a division of Axos Bank.

CIT Bank Savings Connect: 4.65% APY

CIT Bank's Savings Connect has the next-highest APY on this list at 4.65%. It requires a minimum deposit — the only account on this list that does so — but at only $100, it's a doable amount for many college students. There are no monthly service or overdraft fees, and it provides mobile check deposit.

CIT Bank is a division of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company.

Citizens Access High-Yield Online Savings Account: 4.50% APY

With the Citizens Access High-Yield Online Savings account, you'll earn a competitive 4.50% APY. The minimum deposit is only $0.01, and there are no monthly fees. You'll also enjoy mobile check deposit abilities.

Citizens Access is a division of Citizens Bank.

Synchrony High Yield Savings: 4.50% APY

The Synchrony High-Yield Savings account also offers 4.50% APY. It has no minimum deposit and no minimum balance, monthly or overdraft fees. As with the other accounts on this list, it allows for mobile check deposits. It also offers ATM access (which not all high-yield accounts do) and a savings goal calculator to help you reach your financial goals.

Ally Bank Saving Account: 4.25% APY

The Ally Bank Saving Account has the lowest APY on this list at 4.25%, but it's worth considering for the unique savings features it offers. In addition to no minimum deposit or monthly fees, the account comes with an ATM card and allows for peer-to-peer transfers through Zelle.

It also has "savings buckets" you can use to divide your money into specific savings goals, making it easier to track your progress. Plus, you have the potential to earn more and make savings easier with automated savings tools known as "boosters."

With recurring transfers, you can set up regular transfers into specified buckets. With round-ups, you can have purchases from an Ally Spending Account rounded up to the next dollar and transferred to your savings account. Finally, the Surprise Savings booster monitors how much you normally spend with your checking account and transfers excess money to savings.

Compare current high-yield savings accounts here to see how much you could be earning.

The bottom line

Saving money as a college student can be challenging, but with a high-yield savings account, you can grow your balance faster without any extra effort beyond opening the account.

The accounts above are all great places to get started, but you should also take some time to do your own research and compare different accounts' features, terms and conditions. By putting your savings into the right account, you can set yourself up for a more secure financial future, no matter how much you're able to put away right now.

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