When considering which bank to use in NYC, students (and parents) should think about bank chains that are located in their hometown first and then close to where their student will be be living while at NYU. As students will only live around Washington Square their first year, a branch that has multiple locations in the city will be the most convenient in the long run. Also, a bank in the student's hometown and in New York City allows even more convenience for parents to make deposits and assist with transaction when the student returns home during the summer and holidays.
That being said, most of the major national bank chains in the city have a number of branches and ATM lobbies throughout the city. Almost all offer free checking to students with an NYU ID Card or Acceptance Letter.