Do you know a high-performing Missouri State-West Plains student looking to transfer to a four-year institution? Does he or she have financial need? If so, please encourage him or her to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which provides up to $40,000 annually to community college students and recent alumni who will pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. The application is now open and will close December 2. For more information, visit: http://www.jkcf.org/scholarship-programs/undergraduate-transfer/
What is financial literacy?
Financial literacy is defined as:
- The ability to read, analyze, manage and communicate about the personal financial conditions affecting material well being.
- The term is used to describe financial education programs on college campuses and within high schools. The objective of financial literacy programs is to help students better manage their finances,budget effectively, and borrow wisely.
Smart financial management includes a few basic good habits. If you are a student, you may already have a checking account, a credit card, or maybe even a car loan. When heading off to college, you may also need to borrow student loans to help finance your education. But have you determined your financial goals and established good financial habits? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Steps you can take now to get on the right financial path
- Take charge of your spending. Establish a budgetPDF Document; set limits and prioritize; determine the difference between needs and wants; speak with a professional, nonprofit credit counselor if needed.
- Start saving. The earlier you save, the more you’ll have.
- Understand the costs of credit. Compare at least three offers before you choose a credit card; look for low interest rates and no annual fees; always pay more than the minimum payment.
- Understand how credit use affects your future. Know the difference between good and bad debt; check your credit report annually.
- Protect your credit and your financial future. Beware of identity theft; review statements and notify creditors immediately of errors; know what’s in your wallet/purse.
Planning for Financial Success
Minimize your student loan debt by following these Top 10 ways to graduate debt free.
- Complete the FAFSA annually.
- Qualify for federal grants.
- Research state scholarship and grant programs.
- Apply for institutional scholarships.
- Explore private scholarships.
- Inquire about work programs available on your campus.
- Set up a payment plan for your tuition.
- Secure summer employment.
- Invest in MOST, Missouri’s 529 college savings plan.
- Live like a student now, so you don’t have to later.
Scholarship Search Tips
In these tough economic times, many families may need additional money to help pay for college. Federal and state financial aid programs may not be enough. Seeking and applying for private scholarships from non-profit foundations and other organizations may provide the extra help needed. Here are some suggestions about how to find legitimate scholarships.
- “Like” the MDHE’s Facebook page, Journey to College. The MDHE is often notified when new private scholarships are available or when a scholarships’ application period opens, and this information is added immediately to Journey to College.
- Follow the MDHE’s tweets via Twitter, and have these communications sent to your cell phone. The MDHE communicates scholarship information as well as other resources for students and their families.
- Ask businesses, community groups, schools, and religious and civic organizations in your local community or state about scholarship opportunities.
- Check your local library for scholarship books.
- Keep looking! The more you search, the greater your chances of finding additional programs.
Keep the following tips in mind when using the Internet or a scholarship search organization:
- Be cautious of scholarship scams. Contact the Federal Trade Commission for more information.
- Do not provide credit card information to use a free scholarship search.
- Read the fine print carefully. Many online financial assistance search services request information about you so they can find financial assistance programs for which you may be eligible. Some of these companies may send you information about other services that they provide or sell your information to another company.
This toolkit is designed to assist you in providing information on completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
With the click of a mouse or a quick “cut and paste,” you can have your own FAFSA campaign, provided by PHEAA.
From print ads to web banners, our tools help schools and community partners increase FAFSA awareness.
How to Download: To download, right-click (control-click on Mac) and select “Save Target As…” from the pop-up menu.
Begin the road to higher education and a brighter future now.
Whether you are a high school student deciding what you want to be or a parent figuring out how to pay for college, EducationPlanner.org is your one-stop career- and college-planning site.
If you’re an eligible Pennsylvania resident, apply for a Pennsylvania State Grant to get help with the cost of higher education.
- Explore the other aid programs available that provide funding for higher education.
Gain career-related, on-the-job work experience while earning money to help pay for your higher education.
Explore aid that helps strengthen the state’s workforce and makes higher education more affordable with the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP).
Service to our country may qualify you or your dependents for financial aid when you pursue higher education.
5 Steps to Financial Aid
Step 1. Look for “free” money first.
Try to get “free” financial aid first. Free financial aid is the type of aid that you do not need to repay.
Unfortunately, free financial aid usually doesn’t cover 100% of your costs. And you may need to find other ways to pay for college, including taking out low-cost loans and using any money you may have saved. Alternative sources are also an option but use them only as a last resort. Take time to understand all the ways you can pay for college.
If you include more than one college on your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you will receive one financial aid award letter (award offer) from each of those schools. These offers will likely contain a combination of free aid and low-cost loans. Evaluate each school’s financial aid offer carefully.
|Ways to Pay for College|
Note: Be aware that in some cases, a grant may convert to a loan if certain obligations are not met.
|Work-study or other employment||
How to Pay for College – Scholarships, Loans, Financial Aid & the FAFSA
There are many types of student financial aid for college, including scholarships, grants, loans and work-study and it can be earned at the federal, state or institution level. For more information on college costs and financial aid, check out the links and articles below.
- Scholarship search
- Filling out the FAFSA application
- Types of financial aid
- Financial aid tips
- Featured Scholarship — Education Aid’s support program for single fathers
Develop healthy habits for a secure financial future with the resources below from Nelnet. Get savvy about finances, build a budget, and protect yourself and your financial future. If there’s a topic you’d like to learn more about, send us an e-mail at Ideas@Nelnet.net or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Money Mondays Webinar Schedule
Get smart about money by attending a brief webinar each Monday at 2:00 PM or 4:30 PM (Eastern). We examine various aspects of personal financial wellness to better equip you to build wealth. Topics include Personal Finance 101, Saving and Investing Basics, and Understanding the Implications of Credit Card Use. Check out the registration page to see what’s available this month.
Worksheets, Resources and Tips
- Budgeting Worksheet – Manage your budget and get on the right track using this itemized worksheet.
- Budget Strategies – Good intentions aren’t enough. Try these strategies to save money for your future.
- Managing Your Money – Achieve financial wellness with these nine money-saving tips.
- Credit Card Tips – Credit cards help establish and improve your credit score, but only when used responsibly. Make sound financial decisions with this info.
- Identity Theft – Don’t be a victim. Keep your identity safe with these tips.
- Explore Deferment and Forbearance – Trouble making payments? Discover how you could postpone them.
- 2013-2014 Federal Student Loan Programs – Compare your federal student loan options.
- Financial Goals Worksheet – Healthy financial habits start by setting sound financial goals. A good place to get started.
- Live Life Smart Guide – Your complete guide to becoming financially savvy, whether you’re graduated or just starting your education.
- Financial Literacy with the Department of Education – Let the Department of Education help you find a balance between your income, financial aid and living expenses.
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