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We have identified some key online resources, books, courses, and people that can help you understand financial information.

So, what can you do if you are experiencing financial concerns?  First, figure out what your biggest concern. Are you…

Searching for ways to prepare for the future?

The financial choices you make today will impact your future. It is important to learn how to manage your money and debt now.

Online Resources icon-olus-circle

Bureau of Labor StatisticsWant to know how much you might make in different careers? This website provides an A to Z directory of career choices and provides average annual salaries for just about any career. Click on the “A-Z Index” in the middle of the page under “Ways to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook site” or use the search box in the upper right hand corner to find information on any career.

Budget CalculatorThe budget calculator will help determine your expenses and estimate your total available income. It gives a basic introduction on how to use the calculator and allows you to enter your earnings and expenses by categories on whatever time scale you would like (e.g., month, semester, year). It then calculates your expenses and your income and lets you know your remaining balance.

Courses to Consider icon-olus-circle

Consider taking Math 034 to learn about personal finance topics. This can be a GQ in your Gen Eds.

Running out of money and using your credit card at the end of the month?

It is important to find ways to alter your spending now. If you keep racking up expenses on your credit card or spending beyond your means monthly, you will find yourself in a lot of debt.

Online Resources icon-olus-circle

Mapping your Future: This website allows you to access resources specific to being an undergraduate student in college. It provides access to several online calculators, including a budget based on your income after taxes and a student loan repayment calculator.

Budget Worksheet for College Students: This provides a printer friendly worksheet for budgeting monthly.

Monthly Budget Planner from Excel: This free excel spreadsheet automatically creates a bar graph of your expenses and income. It also calculates the percent of your income that is going toward your expenses.

Brown Bag Savings Calculator: Can you cook more meals for yourself rather than relying on campus food or restaurants? If you pack a brown-bag lunch even one day a week, you can save a lot of money. If you put that money saved into an interest bearing savings you can save even more.

Books to Consider icon-olus-circle

"Financial Basics: Money-Management Guide for Students," by Susan Knox

This book talks through some basic financial skills in regard to credit cards, budgeting, spending, debt, building a credit history, and planning for after school. Each chapter begins with a story told by a college student or graduate reflecting on his or her own financial concerns. There is also a chapter to fill in your own thoughts about money. The book is easy to read and focused on problems college students face. (The University Library has this book available to check out.)

"1,000 Best Smart Money Secrets for Students," by Debby Fowles

This book provides some good tips on saving money, making money, and being smart about spending in college and with loans. It is not a comprehensive guide to managing one’s money or loans, but, it is a great resource if you are looking for some creative “money tips”. (The University Library has this book available through interlibrary loan.)

Accumulating student loan debt and wondering what you can do about it?

Financial advisers recommend not accumulating loan debt that requires you to pay over 8 percent of your wages in monthly payments over the course of 10 years. Therefore, it is essential to manage the loans you take out now.

Online Resources icon-olus-circle

Loan Debt Summary: If you log onto eLion under “Loan Debt Summary,” you can see the amount in loans you have taken out.

U.S. Department of Education: This website provides information on the process of student loans, from applying to repaying them. Here you can find loan calculators with interest rates and information on how you can defer making loan payments, if necessary. It also gives information on loan consolidation and loan forgiveness policies.

Penn State’s Office of Student Aid: This website can be used to calculate your tuition costs given residency, major, and number of credits you are taking so you can plan for your loans.

In-School Financial Budget CalculatorThis budget calculator takes a bit of thinking through but it helps you calculate how much in loans you will have to take out to make ends meet. You can enter yearly tuition costs, monthly expenses, and earnings. It will then calculate yearly personal expenses, yearly academic expenses, and the remaining balance.

Books to Consider icon-olus-circle

"Take Control of Your Student Loan Debt," by Robin Leonard and Deanne Loonin

This book is a great resource for understanding different types of loans and how they work. It is set up to navigate the topics however you like, based on your personal questions and concerns. It also includes state-specific information on loans and example worksheets to help calculate loan debt and budgets. (The University Library has this book available to check out.)

Courses to Consider icon-olus-circle

FIN 108: Personal Finance covers personal management of budgets, financial services, credit, insurance, real estate, and other basic financial decisions. It is a basic educational course on money management topics that can be taken as an elective.

Talk With Your Connections icon-olus-circle

Talk with your academic advisers about the influence of cost and your financial situation on your education plans, as well as your parent or guardian about your student debt concerns.

Wondering how you will pay tuition?

If you are in a tough spot and need help now, first, see the HDFS academic adviser. Also talk to your parent or guardian about your problem, even if you know they don’t have the money to help pay tuition. Everyone involved needs to understand the problem and be involved in creating a solution.