Financial Aid Podcast Live: How to Pay for College in Uncertain Times

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Financial Aid Podcast Live: How to Pay for College in Uncertain Times

The Financial Aid Podcast is hosting a select group of financial help, media and industry leaders to participate in a live podcast addressing the recent news regarding the credit crunch and student installment loans. Learn how you, as a student, parent, or family member can pay for college in 2008.  Student questions such as the following will be addressed:

* What is the current status of the student lending market? Will installment loans be available to me?
* I keep hearing that installment loans might not be available from some lenders – what does that mean for my Stafford installment loan?
* What is the government doing – or what should they do – to help make paying for college a reality for most students?
* Where can I find scholarships, grants and other financial assistance?
* What do “tighter credit requirements” mean to me?

Show is over – ancient news friends.

That’s right the show is over, and the rules have probably changed a lot since 2008. We decided to not update this topic but rather deal with the real issues of going to school and what students really need to know when they leave home and try to make it in the world with their first step being university or college and being away from home. We thought we would add a few comments from a practical perspective about this topic and finding financing while going to school.

These are some of the topics that many students may want to give some thought to regardless of where their money comes from. It really does not matter if your parents provide the money or you borrow the money from a bank or one of the student loan programs. Here are the topics we wanted to cover:

  • Budget
  • Cash Flow
  • Discipline
  • Get a part time Job

Budget – This is one of the biggest tips that any student can take advantage of. Make a budget for all of your expenses associated with going off to school. Many of the expenses will be new to you and you may be shocked at just how much a student education will cost when you take off for school on your own. Include the usual things such as tuition, books, rent, food and entertainment. But don’t forget trips back home, clothes and gifts for the family at Christmas time and birthdays. Once you have your budget ready, you will want to review it a month later to see how you are doing and update it based on everything you have learned in that first month away from home.

Cash Flow – always manage your cash flow. This goes hand in hand with managing your budget. If you do not have the cash now do not spend it. Using a credit card to buy something you cannot afford to pay for now is just going to hurt financially later on.

Discipline – it really does take a lot of discipline to manage a budget and cash flow and stick to the plan when everyone else is out partying and spending their loans or their parent’s money. I would rather do it on my own and be independent. It is something that you will be proud of for the rest of your life. Stick with the plan and update the plan, budget etc as things change which brings us to the next major suggestion.

Get a part time Job – this has huge benefits in many ways which will help you through university and later on in life as well. First of all by getting a job you will have extra cash that you had not planned on. This money will help you in so many ways and make life a lot easier for you. You may even be able to meet that budget and salt a little away for when you cannot work e.g. during exams.

You are also getting real life valuable experience at actually working for a living. Learn as much as you can and excel at what you do. You never know were a so called dead end job is going to lead you or how the skills you learn will help you later in life.

Finally if you are working, you are not spending money and hanging around with your friends getting into mischief. It is that simple.

Follow these simple rules and a student loan will be the best thing for you to help get through university.