Money Smarts

“We all know the boulder that is on every student’s shoulders when it comes to the tuition deadline. It’s probably the most stressful factor that we have to face during our college experience, even more stressful than the five exams we have during finals week.”

We all know the boulder that is on every student’s shoulders when it comes to the tuition deadline.
It’s probably the most stressful factor that we have to face during our college experience, even more stressful than the five exams we have during finals week.
What can a student do to better prepare for the tuition payments? I will list a few things that can be done to help alleviate the stress during this time: FAFSA, scholarships, budgeting.
File for FAFSA. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and I demand that every student do one and do it as early as possible!
The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of being able to receive more funds from the federal government either in the form of grants or unsubsidized/subsidized student loans.
The Federal Pell Grants are free from the government and do not have to be repaid at all.
Next in line in terms of federal funding would be a subsidized student loan. A subsidized loan is a loan the government gives out to students that does not accrue interest while you are in school full-time. In fact, all students with good money management skills can take these if you plan on using your money to fund college.
Use the government subsidized loans to pay for college and place your money (money that was to be used to pay tuition) into an interest bearing savings or money market account to earn interest.
When you complete your college degree and when the government subsidized loan decides to kick in, use the funds earning money in the interest bearing account and pay off the loan in full.
Not only were you able to fund your college with government money interest free, but also were able to earn money in your interest-bearing account and are now student loan free. Having your money in another account also can be there for emergency situations, such as medical bills, vehicle costs or any other unexpected tragic situation.
An unsubsidized government loan is an interest-bearing loan that accrues interest the day it is sent to the University of Akron. These are normally lower interest loans compared to other private lenders.
Check on the FAFSA.ed.gov Web site for further information and explanation.
Apply for scholarships. What better way to honor your hard work in academics and campus life than with free money from a scholarship? Initially, one always says, There’s no way I could receive one etc., but honestly, you never know until you apply. The University of Akron offers a vast amount of scholarships either through general awards or through a specific college (check your college Web site on www.uakron.edu for more details regarding scholarships).
Budget. When you are working during the school year and the summers, calculate the amount of money needed to pay for your tuition and books after factoring in scholarships and financial aid.
Find the percentage you need to set aside per month to reach your goal.
Sure it sounds doable while writing and reading this, but actually practicing it sure can make the difference. Of course, this will be different upon your personal tuition burden after factoring in the above two sections.
These are just a few methods that can help reduce the stress of tuition payments. Make sure to explore all options of funding and do your due diligence before taking action.

Lanny Berlingieri is a current MBA finance student and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Akron.
Berlingieri is involved in campus organizations Beta Alpha Psi, Accounting Association and Student Toastmaster.