I'd like to make some recommendations to help ease the pressures of paying for your education. First, if you're unsure of what you need to do, ask someone who works in the Financial Aid Office. They will explain where you need to start and what forms you need to fill out. Second, make sure you file all necessary forms before deadline dates approach. That way, if there are corrections or delays you'll have plenty of time to resolve them. Third, know your educational costs and determine how your aid affects the bill so it will be paid on time. Finally, financial aid eligibility is based on financial need and academic progress. Students should check with the Financial Aid Office when given advice to repeat courses; it may effect your grants and loans adversely. The bottom line is to ask questions when in doubt. Let 'us' help you.By Ron Swift
The key to obtaining financial aid for next year is to accurately complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or renewal FAFSA) by May 1. This form will allow you to be eligible for federal, state and campus-based aid. Many times students and parents are overwhelmed by the complexity of these forms. Rather than setting them aside for another day, I recommend that you call your university's Financial Aid Office for assistance. I'd hate to see you miss out on financial aid opportunities because you missed an important deadline or incorrectly completed a form. In addition, you should also contact our office to make sure you are meeting the academic requirements for renewal of your financial aid. If you have struggled academically, we can sit down and evaluate what steps should be taken to retain aid eligibility. So keep in touch with the office to ensure that your finances are in order.By Judy Viveralli
Credit cards are as American as apple pie. However as college students, you should be aware that credit comes at a cost that you might not be able to afford. There are several reasons for owning a credit card, such as emergency money and also a form of identification for a variety of transactions. Buying pizzas and other frivolous spending does not meet the criteria for an emergency. Running up the debt on a credit card where you cannot meet the payments may cause the credit company to put your account in the hands of a collection agency. These agencies can be ruthless and very tenacious in their zeal to collect their money. Their calls are annoying and nerve racking for the people left to deal with them. So remember, if you have a credit card, use it wisely. This credit is a loan to be paid back -- not a gift. Intentional non-payments amounts to stealing and it can have financial repercussions for years. Plus, the badgering of the creditors can cause grades to slip.By John Furcron
No matter how much you think you want to get a credit card--DON'T. Credit card companies feast off naive college students in need of quick cash for books, supplies, rent and other necessary items. Since college students have little or no money, credit cards appear to be a logical solution to financial woes. Unfortunately, the credit card limit is quickly exceeded, so students get one or more credit cards so they can make payments on the accumulated debt. Before too long, usually by the sophomore year, a student begins to see the error in his/her way. Attempts to pay off the enormous financial obligations cause a variety of negative outcomes: on necessary expenses. Student find they need to work overtime or find a second job to get extra money to pay off their debt.
Students begin "slacking off" in their studies because they are exhausted from lack of sleep.
Students begin showing signs of ill-health and develop sress related problems because they can't keep up with the incoming bills.
Students finally begin to realize that the social life they had during their first semester in college is a thing of the past.
The only ones who benefit from college students being issued credit cards are the credit card companies themselves.By Tamara J. Brown
Here are some quick tips for serious consumers who want to save money and avoid becoming in debt at college. Students who enjoy apartment living at college may be surprised at how fast money is spent on necessary expenses. While grocery shopping, I can't over-emphasize the usefulness of coupons. Next time you even think about throwing out the coupon section of the Sunday paper, hold onto it. Each of these .75 off coupons double and become $1.50 off per item. By buying sale items and using a coupon, your grocery bill is drastically reduced. College is a perfect time in your lives to start building good credit. Owning a credit card for the first time is exciting, but remember it is also a big responsibility. In a perfect world--we would only use credit cards for emergency purposes, but realistically many of us are tempted to use the card on impulse while shopping. That's fine as long as you can pay the entire amount each month. However, trouble begins when our balances start to add up. Smart students should seek every opportunity to save money by being a smart shopper and a savvy consumer.By Kathy Springirth