Student Success/Finances

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This lesson introduces finances. In this lesson you will learn about personal finance, financial aid, working, saving, budgeting, credit cards, and credit reports.

Objectives and Skills[edit | edit source]

Objectives and skills for this lesson include:

  • Identify sources of income and expenses in your life[1]
  • Identify the potential sources of financial assistance available, including subsidized and unsubsidized loans, grants, scholarships, and work study[2]
  • Identify employment options for college students[3]
  • Track your personal spending habits and identify strategies for cost cutting[4]
  • Create a personal budget[5]
  • Describe the risks and rewards of credit[6]

Readings[edit | edit source]

  1. Lumen: College Success - Personal Finance
  2. Lumen: College Success - Financial Aid
  3. Lumen: College Success - Working
  4. Lumen: College Success - Saving
  5. Lumen: College Success - Budgeting
  6. Lumen: College Success - Credit

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

  1. YouTube: What is the Price of College?
  2. YouTube: Federal Student Aid -- Myths About Financial Aid
  3. YouTube: Students Working Through College
  4. YouTube: Cash Budgeting Using the Envelope System
  5. YouTube: How to Build a Good Credit Score

Activities[edit | edit source]

  1. Explore student services.
    • Contact the college Financial Aid Office to learn about financial planning resources available to students.
    • Contact the college Career Center to learn about career planning and placement options available to students and alumni.
  2. Complete a financial inventory.
  3. Research student loan impact.
  4. Apply for a grant.
  5. Research available jobs.
    • Review Lumen: College Success - Assignment: Working.
    • Contact the college Career Center to identify available positions for college students on campus or in your community.
    • Ask about assistance with resumes and interviewing skills.
  6. Record your expenses.
    • Review Lumen: College Success - Assignment: Saving.
    • Record your daily expenses for a week. Compare your results with your original estimate of anticipated expenses above. Are your expenses on target, do you need to revise your estimate, or should you adjust your spending?
  7. Create a budget.
  8. Research credit opportunities.
  9. Blog / Journal / Wiki
    • Update your blog, journal, or wiki page summarizing your experience this week. Include a list of resources and links or contact information for each resource.

Lesson Summary[edit | edit source]

Personal Finance[edit | edit source]

College expenses include:[7]

  • Tuition
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal needs
  • Transportation

Income sources include:[8]

  • Jobs
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Loans
  • Grants and scholarships

Recommendations for financial goals include:[9]

  • Create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely)
  • Monitor your spending
  • Create a budget
  • Consider working
  • Choose loans wisely

Financial Aid[edit | edit source]

College costs include:[10]

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Living and transportation
  • Personal needs and entertainment

Financial resources include:[11]

  • Grants and scholarships
  • Student loans
  • Jobs

Applying for financial aid requires planning and organization:[12]

  • Complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Make sure the information is accurate
  • Ask your high school and college
  • Ask your community
  • Check due dates
  • Write strong essays

Working[edit | edit source]

Typical college-student jobs include:[13]

  • Work-study programs
  • On-campus jobs
  • Off-campus jobs
  • Internships
  • Summer jobs

Advantages of working during college include:[14]

  • Earning extra money
  • Enhanced budgeting skills
  • Enhanced time-management skills
  • Networking (career contacts)

Disadvantages of working during college include:[15]

  • Lack of time-management skills
  • Lack of free time

Employment resources include:[16]

  • Career centers
  • Career fairs
  • Online job search
  • Community businesses and places of worship

Saving[edit | edit source]

Track personal spending habits:[17]

  • New spending
  • Credit cards
  • Recreational activities
  • Scholarship options

Saving strategies include:[18]

  • Create a detailed budget
  • Cut down on meal costs
  • Save on transportation
  • Look for discounts and used items
  • Apply for scholarships and minimize loans

Budgeting[edit | edit source]

When budgeting:[19]

  • Be realistic
  • Choose a timeline (such as monthly)
  • Add financial padding (save for the unexpected)
  • Make adjustments as needed

Budgeting advantages include:[20]

  • Provides a realistic view of personal finances
  • Helps you avoid excess spending
  • Assists in goal setting

Budgeting disadvantages include:[21]

  • Budgets take energy
  • Results take time
  • Budgets may be too strict

To create a budget:[22]

  • Record your expected income
  • Calculate regular expenses
  • Adjust your expense percentages, and set goals
  • Identify a method for tracking your budget

Credit[edit | edit source]

Credit card advantages include:[23]

  • Saving money
  • Receiving benefits
  • Building credit

Credit card disadvantages include:[24]

  • Overspending
  • Interest expense
  • Debt

Consider credit cards with support options, including:[25]

  • Error forgiveness
  • No extra fees
  • Rewards for good grades
  • Effective customer service

There are three credit reporting agencies:[26]

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion

Free credit reports are available annually from[27]

Resources for credit problems include:[28]

  • Loan consolidation
  • Credit counselors
  • Debt settlement plans
  • Bankruptcy

Key Terms[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]