A college education is truly a smart investment for your future, and it is so important to be prepared to finance your education and meet your future financial goals. The Financial Aid Office has put together these tips and resources to assist with your financial planning.
Start by determining how prepared you are to make financial decisions by playing Claim Your Future® here. This game walks you through realistic budget examples based on the monthly income of your potential career using current State-level median income figures and deducting taxes, student loan payments, and health care expenses.
Account for your income. Income is generally earned from a part-time job and/or a work study position. However, don't forget to include any funds you are receiving from scholarships, grants, and any another other outside assistance. Knowing exactly what money you have coming in is a great first step to creating a budget. You can use this simple worksheet, or download a budget app, like Mint, and link your bank accounts for easy expense tracking and/or planning for large future expenses. REMEMBER! The earlier you complete your Financial Aid Requirements, the earlier you will know what aid you can include in your income for covering your college costs.
Understand Credit. You might be in the position that your only other option is to borrow money for your remaining college costs. Before choosing the maximum amount you can borrow, you should understand the impacts that borrowing has on your credit. Maintaining a good credit score is so important for those future big purchases like home ownership or your first new car! Check out this tutorial for the credit basics.
A great comprehensive tool for going through this process can be downloaded here. This student workbook covers the ins and outs of budgeting, banking, and understanding credit.