College Tip of the Month: "Girl, Get Your Money Right"

5 Tips For Preparing for Financial Success When You Get to College

1. Don’t sign up for a gazillion credit cards.
Be very weary of the credit cards! During your first Semester of college especially the very first week, you will be bombarded with credit card companies that will be doing a lot of promoting on campus, you only need one for emergencies. Credit cards are not your friends, especially when you are getting paid minimum wage or don’t have a job at all.

2. Get a bank account, if you don’t not already have one. Look for local banks that have special programs for college students. A lot of times these bank will offer free services for students. Having a bank account will teach you financial responsibility, money management, and independence. It will provide you with the convenience of have a check card instead of always carrying cash.

3. Apply for as many scholarships/grants as possible.
Many people think that once you have applied for or received one scholarship and then you are done with applying, but that is not the case. Having as many scholarships that you can, takes the burden off of you and your parents. It takes the burden off of your parents because the cost of your college education is taken care of, and it takes the burden off of you because you will not have to be worry about your classes being cancelled for non-payment, having to worry about eating noodles all school year, and not being able to focus on your studies because the whole time you are thinking about being broke.

4. If you can get a part time job…try to get one that is related to your major.
Getting adjusted to college life is difficult enough without adding a job…whoa!. But it can be done, I did it... As a matter, if you decide to get a part time job it will give you an advantage in terms of time management. You will learn time management skills that will come in very handy as you advance in your college career and once you graduate from college. It is very possible to balance working and studying/class, still make good grades so that you can eliminate the chances of graduating in debt. Another thing to keep in mind is to try to get a job that is related to your major. For example; if your major is nursing, try to get a job at a hospital, if your major is journalism look for a job at a local television news station or with a news paper, if your major is finance try a Bank.. and so on. What this does is help you to start getting the experience early before you even start an internship, and it also builds your resume.

5. Use financial aid refund checks wisely.
There is so much I can say about this one. Let me explain the financial aid refund checks. When you are awarded financial aid that exceeds the amount that your tuition is for that semester, the financial aid office will issue you a check for the remainder of the balance. Example: Your tuition is $4,700 for the semester; you have been awarded $7,700 in financial aid which includes grants, scholarships and student loans. $7,700 is applied t0 your student account and the $4,700 is taken care of. $7,700-$4,700= $3,000 You now have a remainder of $3,000 from your financial aid, so you will be issued a check for $3,000. This is where many people mess up at. When and if you are one of the students that will get a refund check …DO NOT USE THIS MONEY ON PARTYING, TAKING YOUR FRIENDS OUT TO EAT…etc.. You get what I’m saying. It’s very important that you use this money for something very useful, like placing it into an interest bearing account.