Financial Considerations When You’re Planning For College

Saving for college early on can be very beneficial in the long run. You can avoid the hassle of applying for student aid and paying back loans, if you already have money saved to cover the costs. 529 College Savings Plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts are designed to help families save for higher education costs. Financial Aid, When it comes to paying for college, begin by looking in to federal financial aid.

Federal Student Aid – The U.S. Department of Education provides information about what types of federal aid could be available to you, eligibility requirements and how to apply FAFSA – Already familiar with your federal student aid options? FAFSA’s website can help you fast track application process or re-filing if you are a returning student. FinAid – Free for all users and offers comprehensive and objective information, advice, and tools about financial aid.

If you need additional assistance, start by checking out the scholarships and grants for which you might qualify. Often, local organizations that you or your family members are involved with offer scholarships – don’t be afraid to ask. Also, be sure to check with your school advisers and teachers. Here are a couple of additional resources for finding scholarships.

Fastweb – run a free search to find scholarships for which you are qualified, based on your personal profile Scholarships.com – a widely recognized and trusted resource that will help you easily find and apply for scholarships and grants, Budgeting, Developing a proper budget before attending college is crucial for many students. Sometimes your funds seem to run out very quickly, and you are left making sacrifices that may have been avoidable.

Sitting down and creating a budget can help prioritize expenses. This way, you can identify what’s most important to your particular situation and ensure that you provide enough money for those critical items. Try to determine your “needs” compared to your “wants,” and focus more on the list of things you absolutely need. It is also a good idea to prepare for any unexpected costs you may encounter, and set a little aside for those if you are able to.

Keep your budget organized and update it as your college career progresses. After all, there is no point in creating a budget if you are not going to stick with it! There are many budgeting tools and apps out there, many of which are free to use and don’t require any registration or fees. Check out our calculators page for our Student Budget Calculator and other calculators that will help you in your financial life.

There is a lot to focus on while attending college. Studying and getting good grades are important. College life can be full of stress and hard work, but also can be very rewarding and provide opportunities as well. There are many other things to consider or do to ensure your continued success as you move forward.

Credit is needed to get the most favorable terms when purchasing a vehicle or home or even to get a personal loan. It is usually a good idea to look into getting a credit card or two to help establish or build credit. There are many low credit limit options out there for first-time card holders and students. Many of them also offer rewards for using the card to make everyday purchases.

Here are two good resources on how to build credit for Experian and The Simple Dollar. It is often recommended that you get a credit card before or during college, so make sure to educate yourself on what to look for before choosing the right one for you. As you begin to establish your credit, it’s also a good idea to check your credit report annually to ensure that there are no errors or issues that could be affecting your credit score in the future.

GCU has a variety of credit card options available to help start building your credit footprint. Think about joining a club or student organization if your college offers them. There are several benefits to doing this, and it can provide you with good team working and leadership skills. This article provides some details about the possible extra benefits you can receive by getting involved on your campus.

Remember to update and re-submit your FAFSA forms if you are using federal student aid. There are federal and state deadlines and your college may also have deadlines as well. There a lot of reasons to get a job while you are attending college. Sometimes, student aid does not quite cover all of your expenses depending on your situation, and you need some extra funds to get by more comfortably. Finding a part-time or full-time job can help put some cash in your pocket now and relieve a little financial stress.