The Catholic University of America

Power of Attorney

What is it and why is it useful?

Setting up a power of attorney (POA) can be very helpful if you have a commercial loan. When the loan check arrives at Enrollment Services, it needs your signature on it. If you are abroad at the time, Enrollment Services has to FedEx it to you while you are abroad and then you must sign it and FedEx it back. This is both expensive and time-consuming. By setting up a power of attorney, you can have a trusted person here in the US sign on your behalf. Most students who set up a power of attorney choose a parent or other trusted adult. Outside of commercial loans, a POA can be useful if any other legal or billing situations arise.

Setting up a power of attorney

To set up a power of attorney (POA), you need a POA form or document. To obtain one, you can either go to an attorney and ask them to create one for you, or you can go online and find a template there. Several official websites, including government websites, will post POA templates, which you can download.

Once you have obtained the POA document, you and your POA designee will need to sign it together in the presence of a notary public. Notaries public can be found in many places including banks. There are three on campus, or you could do a web search to see if there are any who are closer to you. This service will either be free or at a minimal charge.

If you have a commercial loan, you must then submit the signed form to the Office of Enrollment Services. It can be the original or a scanned copy, so long as the notary seal is visible. Include a message to Enrollment Services stating that your POA designee (give their name) will sign the check for you. Let them know whether your designee will come into the office to sign the check, or whether they would prefer it to be mailed to them directly to be signed. If it’s to be mailed to them directly, give Enrollment Services the address. If you are not using a commercial loan, you do not need to submit anything to Enrollment Services, but should leave the notarized document with your POA designee while you are abroad.