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Posted April 23, 2016 by

Financial aid secrets for college students

Financial aid web browser sign concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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With graduation season looming, high school seniors throughout the country are receiving their college acceptance letters and celebrating their impending sense of freedom. At the same time, parents are studying financial aid options and scratching their heads trying to figure out how to pay for the upcoming four (or more) years.

As the costs of attending college rise, it’s important to consider scholarships, grants, and student loans to assist with the hefty fees. There are also some innovative tricks that can help reduce this cost. Here are some insights gleaned from real university financial aid employees, parents, and former college students all high school seniors and their families should know.

Use your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important financial aid document college students shouldn’t skip. Even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for any money, it’s important to fill this form out annually. This is how the federal government and schools determine what type of aid to give students. There are many subtle things that can impact the grants offered, many of which are unknown to the average person, and may change the amount a family qualifies for.

Attend class

Many universities have strict attendance and truancy policies to prevent abuse of the grants offered. If a student withdraws from a class due to non-attendance in the first few classes or consistent unexplained absences, their course load may drop below the mandatory credits needed to qualify for certain grants. If you have a scholarship or grant already, make sure you know the terms and what’s expected from your end.

Become a Resident Advisor (RA)

Aside from tuition, room and board are the most expensive costs incurred during college. With the average college student paying $8,535 a year just for a place to stay, it makes sense to try to skimp on this fee. Students who work as a Resident Advisor often wind up with free or significantly reduced room and board in exchange for their services, making this one of the most lucrative student jobs available.

Learn to cook

While Top Ramen may be students best friend those first few months, anything prepared at home is bound to be more affordable than college meal plans and eating out at restaurants. Even if a student’s cooking skills need some brushing up, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen.

Find freebies

So much of an average college student’s budget is spent on personal expenses, which often includes entertainment. Seek free options available through the university instead. Campuses are loaded with free amenities, from swimming pools and libraries to dorm dinners, guest lecture speakers, and student clubs.

Join a credit union

Since credit unions are run as cooperatives, they can afford giving customers extra perks that wind up saving them a lot of money. They typically feature lower credit card interest rates, higher interest rates paid out on savings accounts, and reduced-fee ATMs and online banking services.

While the term “starving student” has origins in truth, it doesn’t need to be a reality for all. Instead, research financial aid opportunities and spend wisely to save money and stick to a good budget throughout your academic career.

If you’re interested in more information on financial aid, please visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information on first time budgeting, see what a Bountiful Utah Credit Union might recommend. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Posted August 07, 2015 by

College Life 101: A Student’s Guide to Saving Money in School

happy student with a money at the school desk on the white background

Happy student with a money at the school desk on the white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Students need to be their own personal financial managers. They also need to be financial planners, looking at future expenses. How can you survive the money pit of college? By planning and managing your money vigilantly. Avoiding overspending and accumulating high credit card balances are important goals for success.

Books and Materials

One of the first major expenses is textbooks. You can save significantly by renting your books. Many students buy used books and materials. Make sure that any interactive materials, such as CDs, website codes, and more, are transferable. Some students share books, especially when they have different class periods.

Materials, such as art supplies, can wreck a budget. Ask your instructor if any stores offer student discounts. Sometimes, you need a voucher or coupon from the college; but, generally, your student ID is sufficient. How much can you save? Up to 25 percent on average. (more…)

Posted February 23, 2015 by

How to Make a Strong Career in Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement - approved

Debt settlement – approved. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Debt settlement can be considered as the process where a huge, one-time payment can be offered in exchange of forgiving the remaining debt from your balance. The best debt settlement activities can be done by the financial professionals in this field. To make a strong career in this arena, you must keep a few things in mind. (more…)

Posted August 25, 2014 by

Aim Towards A Lucrative And Successful Career In A Credit Card Company

Closeup of hand holding a blue credit card

Closeup of hand holding a blue credit card. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are several credit card companies today which benefit consumers in various ways. There are slight differences in the credit cards which they offer. A career in a credit card company is both rewarding and challenging. The companies foster an environment where you will grow and reach the pinnacle of success. You will work around the world and be a part of exciting projects. You will have to face professional challenges successfully for success.  As credit card companies introduce a wide range of credit cards these cards have become a way of life. The convenience of usage is what has made credit cards very popular. (more…)

Posted March 13, 2014 by

Developing your Career Potential in Providing Credit Relief Services

Green road sign with debt relief just ahead; clouds and sunlight in background

Green road sign with debt relief just ahead; clouds and sunlight in background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

A career in credit relief implies several key responsibilities. The vacuum of credit needs the best understanding of different relevant scenarios. You need to maintain a good knowledge on how banks work and how agencies assign a credit score. Finding the right company is essential for professional success. You need to check the registration and licensing details of the service where you are applying. Not all companies operate a legal business although they may publish vacancy advertisements. Check in the different factors defining the credibility of the service. Always verify the service has a valid licensure to offer debt financing. You may need debt assistance personally. You also need a job. Combine both aspects and look for a stable job at a debt relief service. (more…)

Posted March 05, 2014 by

What a College Recruiter Might Tell You About Going to College

Prospective students can get some advice that a college recruiter might share with them about going to college in the following post.

Pages. Contact US RSS Site Map Write for Us. Dribbble; Email; Facebook; Google+; Linkedin; Pinterest; RSS; StumbleUpon; Twitter; YouTube; Flickr; Lastfm; Tumblr; Vimeo. Dressage College Recruiter Copyright © 2014.

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Posted November 26, 2013 by

What Business Owners Can Do to Plan Their Financial Outlook for 2014?

Kris Miller

Kris Miller, ChFEBS, CSA, LDA

Many small business owners lament that the past few years have been difficult financially. Yes, the recession hit hard and the recovery is going slowly. However, with the proper planning, any business can thrive no matter what the economic landscape.

Unfortunately, many small business owners are so busy putting out daily fires and just trying to stay afloat that they never take the time to plan. That’s a mistake! So if you’re ready to make 2014 your best year yet, here are the key financial planning items to focus on for both the short- and long-term. (more…)

Posted November 13, 2013 by

Careers in Debt, Profitably So

Debt settlement approved

Debt settlement approved. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The recent economic collapse may have resulted in widespread financial loss but it has created a lot of profitable careers in the debt settlement industry. Debt settlement is the quickest and most rapidly expanding sector of the financial market and it appeals to those who are trying to get out of the economic recession and make profits from it. Those who are targeting demanding and well-rewarded careers should consider debt related careers as more and more debt companies provide debt related services for alleviation of the indebted and their problems. Debt settlement negotiators are now in demand as creditors now strive to figure out how to negotiate credit card settlements and other debts. (more…)