Financial Planning Tips for Students Going to College

Last Updated on May 24, 2019

Financial Planning Tips for Students Going to College
The costs are accrued from going to college or university has increased hugely over the last ten years, with rises in tuition fees and also a rising cost in the standard of living.  Students who plan to study at college will need to plan very carefully and astutely if they are avoid excessive debts. Before going to college students must look into every option that is available in terms of financial assistance — this can include scholarships, grants, student loans, and bank overdrafts.  Student financial planning for college should start before they’ve even got to college, and will most probably need to continue for some years after they have graduated as well. Students are well advised to develop a semester by semester plan so that the student can lives within their means and do not accumulate any unnecessary debt.

Financial Planning is Key to Debt Management

Financial planning for college includes things like living expenses, for example food, entertainment, and rental costs if the student is living away from home.  Tuition fees and books will be the biggest costs associated with college, but other expenses can also add up very quickly, so it is essential that the student is as prepared as possible and can keep additional spending under control.  Wherever possible, financial planning for college should exclude or try to limit the use of credit cards, which will typically involved far higher interest rates than other loan schemes. Many students have got into deep financial trouble by using credit cards so it is key to avoid them where possible.

How Will the Student Repay Loans and Debts in the Future

A student planning for college or university should consider in advance how they will need to repay their debts once graduated. If students do not take too much debt on then obviously it will be quicker to repay any loans – and due to the preferential rates given to students, it will be possible to stretch the loan repayment terms over a longer term with smaller monthly repayment amounts.  If student debt is accrued via several different lenders they sometimes it will make sense to consolidate the loans into one on a lower and fixed interest rate – many banks will offer this service to students aged 18 to 25.  By doing this, students should find it far easier to make re-payments as lower interest rates will mean lower monthly re-payments.

When repaying debts, students should consider that they will still need to pay for everyday living – and whilst it might be tempting to pay off as much money as possible on a student loan, it might be better to take their time due to the low preferential rates that they can get from loan companies.

Wall Street Journal Student Subscription Contains Financial Advice

There are certain publications that offer good advice for students who want to avoid financial problems.  Believe it or not, one of them is the Wall Street Journal.  There is a WSJ College Edition which is specifically designed for students and includes financial advice and planning guidance on a weekly basis inside the Finance pull-out section – click here for more information on the Wall Street Journal Student Subscription.

There are also various free publications too which get delivered via email from many of the student union bodies throughout the country.  Students will be able to benefit from free advice and guidance so it’s worth checking these out before taking any paid subscriptions to other services.


To conclude, attending college or university is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and financial planning is the key to succeeding and completing courses.  Students should ensure that they are as prepared as possible and seek out all the advice that they can and take advantage of preferential rates given by loan companies, banks, and student bodies.

Author Bio: Jane Moore regularly contributes to student union magazines in North America and Europe and graduated herself with honors in 2001.

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