BY JIMMY POPWORTH
Starting anything new in life can be quite challenging. This is especially true when it comes to college. It doesn’t matter if you are entering college directly from high school or you have been out of the classroom for several years and looking to plunge back into higher education. Sure, studying and taking tests are going to be hard, but the hardest thing about going to college is the financial side of things. Being in the classroom from six to eight hours a day makes it hard to hold down a full-time job. At the few least you can get back with a part-time job, which isn’t going to provide the income that you need to cover the costs of your books let alone your cost of living. This is why it is imperative to avoid making financial mistakes whenever you can. Below, you will learn the 6 most common financial mistakes that college students make and how you can avoid them.
Choosing A School That Doesn’t Suit Your Needs
One of the most exciting things about the whole college experience is choosing where you are going to go. Searching through the different campuses and touring them can be a thrilling experience. It is true that there are many different factors that will go into choosing a school. However, the most important thing is that you choose a university and program that supports your career goals.
This is much more important than worrying about the price tag. This is going to be your life when you graduate and it will be worth the extra investment. Just remember that the only way that your wasting your money is if you aren’t getting what you need out of the experience. Plus, there will be financial aid and student loans available as well as other financing options that will help you pay down your debt in the long run.
Taking the Time To Review FAFSA
FAFSA, officially known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is without a doubt the most important financial tool for any college student. It is something that should never be overlooked. Taking the time to sit down with your family and filling out this form will tell you exactly how much you will have to pay for college. In addition to this, it will tell you how much financial aid you can qualify for and if you are eligible for any grants. If you do not the time to fill out this application you are missing out in a huge opportunity that could help ease the burden of your financial situation.
Being Too Prideful To Ask For Help
If you are entering college from high school this is your first opportunity to prove yourself in the world. You get the chance to prove that you can stand on your own two feet. Sometimes this new found discovery makes people prideful and they don’t want anyone to know that they are struggling or need help. Well, sometimes you are just going to have to swallow that pride and ask for help. It doesn’t matter if you are struggling academically, personally, or financially, most colleges offer students free resources that can help.
With some inquiries, you will probably find that your campus offers free tutoring, counseling, and the financial aid department will be more than grateful to help you with anything related to financial aid or student loans.
Not Taking Advantage Of Scholarships
You don’t have to be a 4.0 GPA honor student to get a scholarship. You don’t even have to be a high school student entering college for the first time to get a scholarship. There are a number of scholarships available to students of all ages and backgrounds. Yes, it will be a lot of hard work finding these scholarships and applying for them, but this is an opportunity to save money. Even the smallest scholarship can go a long way. Remember to use the Internet to your advantage. There are a number of guides online that will help you find and apply for scholarships. Just remember that most of these scholarships will come along with requirements and if you do not meet the requirements they might be ripped right from underneath you.
Misusing Credit Cards
When the credit card companies find out that you are in college you are going to be bombarded with offers. These companies also set up booths outside the campus to tempt you even further. Some of these offers might seem good, but you only want to get a credit card if you know that you are financially responsible enough for one. Credit cards are a great way to establish a credit report, but if you misuse them it will have an avalanche effect that will snowball you right into bad credit before you even start your life. There is nothing wrong with getting a card, but you only want to use it when necessary and make sure that you pay back the balance in full every single month.
Not Using Student Affinity Networks
Not only does college bring about the cost of tuition and books, but there are going to be other expenses as well. You will have to shop for clothes, you will need binders, and you might even find yourself in need of a new laptop. Well, most college students don’t know that there are hundreds of brands out there that are willing to cut you a break, but finding these brands can be difficult. This is where student affinity networks come in handy. With the help of these networks, you can redeem rightfully what is yours.
These student affinity networks partner with fashion firms, tech industries, grocery stores, and a variety of other establishments to help college students get discounts on just about anything they can imagine. The best thing about these student affinity networks is that they are completely free to utilize and they work extremely hard to bring you the best-in-class offers from all your favorite brands.
Jimmy Popworth is an online journalist, writer and web developer with an Associates Degree in Applied Science. His writing style is both informative and witty, and his tastes are eclectic.