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5 Financial Advice for Students in College

As someone now enrolled in community college, I can attest to many advantages. Community colleges are substantially less expensive than four-year colleges and are frequently located closer to home. Still, if you’re like me and weren’t sure what field of study to follow after high school, it’s a terrific location to start your post-secondary education.

In addition to community college, it’s a good idea to evaluate all of your possibilities before settling on a college. The College Scorecard, developed by the United States Department of Education, is a tool that informs prospective college students and their families about the expenses of various universities. This tool can compare the expenses of different colleges and other college indicators such as graduation rates, post-college incomes of graduates, and more. Current and prospective students can use the College Scorecard to make well-informed financial and academic decisions regarding their higher education options.

Regrettably, not all of these possibilities are covered in high school. Only 23 states require students to take a personal finance course to graduate, according to the Council for Economic Education’s latest 2022 – Survey of the States research. This appears to be at odds with the importance of financial education for prospective college students who must make significant financial decisions, such as where they will attend college and how they will pay for it.

The five actions below can help you achieve financially in college and in life after graduation.

Make a Financial Plan

Regardless of your present financial status, creating and keeping to a budget allows you to manage where your money goes rather than wondering where it went. A budget is a tool for tracking and organizing your cash inflows and outflows. Your budget should include your own financial goals, such as paying bills, saving, giving to others, and pampering yourself. Please begin by following Federal Student Aid’s simple budgeting instructions, and for a better understanding, watch their brief budgeting video.

Make an Emergency Fund For Yourself

It’s impossible to anticipate all of life’s unforeseen events. An emergency fund can convert what could have been a financial calamity into a minor inconvenience when the unexpected occurs. A cash reserve set aside expressly for financial crises or unanticipated bills is known as an emergency fund. Losing your work, needing car repairs, or having a medical emergency are all scenarios in which an emergency fund could be useful. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s recommendation for building an emergency fund recommends having 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund. Make sure you put these monies in a safe place where you won’t be tempted to spend them on things that aren’t emergencies! Having this financial safety net gives you peace of mind and helps you avoid going into debt in an unforeseen expense or disaster.

Apply for Scholarships Using the FAFSA Form

The Free Application for Federal Student Help, or FAFSA, is a form that current and prospective college students fill out to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid. Every year, you should fill out the FAFSA to see if you are eligible for financial aid to help you pay for college. FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” Filling out this form every year is free, and you may be required to do so to be eligible for some scholarships at your college. Make sure to submit the FAFSA every year. The FAFSA isn’t the only tool you have at your disposal to help you pay for college. Scholarships are a type of financial help that does not require repayment! Academic excellence, athletic ability, inclusion and diversity, and financial need are all criteria used to award scholarships. Scholarships can also vary significantly in terms of value. Check your college’s website or call their office of financial assistance for information on the numerous scholarships they may offer, and apply for as many as you qualify for.

Begin To Build Credit And Learn About Your Credit Score

A credit score tells you how “creditworthy” you are, which measures your likelihood of repaying a loan on time. Your credit score is significant because it influences your ability to finance substantial purchases such as a home or car, your eligibility for lower interest rates, and the possibility of receiving housing and insurance discounts. Most credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher your score, the better your chances of getting a loan and getting a good rate. Your payment history, the amount of debt you owe, and the amount of credit you use are all criteria for calculating your credit score. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has more information on calculating your credit score. Get a free copy of your credit report as well. Student loan repayment and having a credit card that you pay off on time every month are two excellent strategies to improve your credit score. However, use caution when using credit cards because failing to pay your credit card account on time could ruin your credit score and likely result in you being charged extremely high-interest rates!

Start Thinking About Retirement Now

Because retirement is so far away, saving for it may be an afterthought for many college students. Even though most college students will not retire for decades, now is the most incredible time to start saving for a comfortable retirement. Examine your several retirement savings account alternatives and select the one that best suits your needs. You may benefit from the power of compound interest by starting to save now. Compound interest is how your savings grow exponentially or at a constant pace. Take advantage of your youth and begin saving as soon as possible!

Conclusion:

Many of the financial decisions in college will have a long-term impact, so becoming financially aware is critical. Continuing your education after high school should open new doors and bring new chances, not put you in debt. You can also opt for Exams and Class Taking Experts such as Online Class King for services such as “Take My Online Class For Me,” which will help you out on your job while regularizing your education. Wise financial decision-making can lead to a bright financial future and offer you a leg up on the competition.

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