Your financial health is in your hands. But you’re not alone—
we’re here to help! Lela provides you with resources to confidently make smart financial decisions before, during, and after college. Below, you’ll find easy ways to maximize your money and learn how to make smart financial decisions in the future.
Definitely! More education means higher earnings—for life. Earning a college degree more than pays for itself over your lifetime. Over a 40-year work life, college graduates will earn $1 million more than those with only a high school diploma. Even higher financial gains are predicted after completing each successive level of schooling, with those obtaining professional degrees historically earning the most.
Maintain good grades to ensure that you qualify for financial aid.
In order to continue to qualify for your scholarships and financial aid (Pell Grants, work study, and student loans), there are specific criteria that you must meet. If you have been awarded scholarships through your college/university, be sure that you know—and adhere to—the requirements to maintain your scholarship. Otherwise, you could lose it!
Reapply for FAFSA every year.
You are required to complete your FAFSA form and return it to the Federal Processor in February of each year to meet the application priority date of May 1. To apply for financial aid each year, you'll need your most current federal tax return. If you're a dependent, you'll need your parents' most current federal tax return and income information. Along with the tax returns, you will need your PIN to reapply at www.fafsa.gov.
Instead of putting off your loan until you graduate in four or more years (and being charged interest in the meantime), start making payments now. There are plenty of ways to earn money while in college—and the more you pay now, the less you'll have to pay back later. Getting a job on-campus for a few days a week and working over the summer are easy ways to make extra money and get a head start on paying off your loan.
Research shows that students who work a moderate amount often do better academically. An on-campus job related to your career goals is a good way to help pay for college costs while getting experience.
Many colleges host high school programs on campus during the summer. Check with your Admissions office to apply for these positions.
You might have a general idea of how much your classes are going to cost this fall, but what about other expenses? Besides tuition and living expenses, consider some of the following line items that may appear on your bill at registration:
Learning how to budget your money is important. Use the links below as resources to help guide your financial path to college and make your money count.
Learning to balance your checkbook—and continuing to do so--is an important way to manage your money.
Credit cards, when used properly, can help you build credit and learn financial management skills.
The financial choices that you make now can greatly impact your finances in the future. You and your parents should check out these great resources for helpful tips and tools:
Lela also supports President Obama's proclamation to empowering individuals and families with the knowledge and tools they need to get ahead in today's economy. Learn what "financial capability" means for you and your future here: Presidential Proclamation: National Financial Capabilities Month 2013
Get financially fit—before, during, and even after college! A little planning and a little saving can go a long way. Just ask Pete and Nate!
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