As we wrap up the first week of classes, I thought it would be a great time to share a quick reminder and three tips to help you stay on target during this semester that is unlike any other. Hopefully, you have noticed how excited everyone at K-State is to have students back on campus. It is plain to see that we’ve been dearly missed, which is why I write this quick reminder. Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Bryan Samuel put it best, “Everyone has a role to play.” If we want to be able to stay in-person until Thanksgiving, we each have to do our part and take responsibility for our actions. We are family here at K-State and our family takes care of each other. Remember the 3 W’s: Wash your hands, wear your mask, and watch your distance.
- Ask for Help
Realizing you need help and asking for it is difficult! When finances are added to the mix, it can make it almost impossible to seek support. If you find yourself struggling financially, know there are many resources here at K-State to help.
Food and Hygiene Assistance: Campus Food Pantry- Cat’s Cupboard
Unexpected, Temporary Financial Obstacles: K-State Emergency Aid
Trouble Understanding Financial Aid: Set up an appointment with your Financial Aid Advisor
Financial Aid Issue: Financial Aid
Billing and Refunds: Cashier’s Office
Managing Your Finances: Financial Counseling- Powercat Financial (We’re always here to help! We offer presentations and one-on-one appointments.)
- Create a Spending Plan
Ever wonder where your money went at the end of the month or want to be more intentional? Then creating a spending plan is the perfect place to start. If you are wondering what a spending plan is, it is a written plan for your weekly/ monthly spending. Creating a spending plan is a three step process:
- Identify your expenses
- Create a spending plan based on those expenses, which can be hand-written, in excel or in an app
- Review your spending and then adjust your money behaviors
Simply put you will identify, create, and review. You will repeat this process every month. If it is not perfect the first month, don’t worry! It typically takes 2-3 months to get the hang of it.
- Borrow Wisely
After you have accepted your scholarships and grants, then it may be time to accept or apply for student loans. First, only accept what you need, it is not necessary to accept the entire amount offered if you do not need it to pay for your schooling. Before accepting or applying for student loans there are also two important differences to be mindful of. The first difference is between federal and private student loans. Private loans are entirely based on your credit score, which may sometimes mean you get a lower interest rate than the federal government is offering. However, it is important to realize interest rate is not always the most important consideration. You also need to think about future protection. The federal government offers more payment plan options, deferment and forbearance options, and loan forgiveness in very specific circumstances. Additionally, federal loans are discharged at the death of the borrower, while private loans are not. The second difference is that of federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. The main difference is who pays for the interest accrued during school, for subsidized loans the government pays it and for unsubsidized the borrower is the one who pays it. We typically suggest students accept financial aid in this order: scholarships/ grants, federal subsidized student loans, federal unsubsidized student loans, and private student loans.
Remember, if you need any help with these or other financial topics, students can request a free session with us via the link on our website at www.ksu.edu/powercatfinancial.
Ana Sanko, Peer Counselor II