MANAGING FINANCES AND BUDGETS
The University extends a variety of payment and financial aid options in an effort to ensure that every qualified applicant has access to the high-caliber Christian education offered here. The University of Saint Katherine pledges to maximize your investment in your education and guide you through the entire financial process whether you are able to pay your tuition in full, or utilize scholarships, student or parent private loans, or a combination of options.
The pursuit of a university degree is an investment in your future.
To prepare for this investment, it is important to make sure that you are financially ready to take on the costs associated with attendance.
Learning to manage your money is a critical life skill. Your college years should be a time when you are mastering the art of budgeting and preparing for years to come when you can save and invest for your future. By being proactive and making good decisions now, you can ensure manageable loan debt upon graduation.
There are ways to limit the amount of education debt you accumulate as a student. The easiest way to reduce your overall debt is to reduce your discretionary expenses. Living frugally now will benefit you after graduation. It is much easier to live like a student when you are a student than to live like a student after you have earned your degree.
Your educational costs may be different from the budget we use for financial aid purposes. Many students meet their educational costs by borrowing through various student loan programs. Student loan debt represents a serious financial commitment with long-range repercussions. Please remember that you cannot use education loans (even private education loans) to cover costs above our published budget. You may have to plan carefully to ensure that you can meet all your expenses during the year. Prudent borrowing strategies can help you have more disposable income in the future, and allow you the freedom after graduation to achieve your personal financial goals (buying a home, new car, etc.)
To make sure that you are ready for school, we suggest that you do the following:
- Make adjustments to your lifestyle.
- Start to save from each paycheck. Open a new school expense savings account and have money directly deposited from your paycheck.
- Begin to reduce your discretionary expenses. Dine out fewer times during the week, bring your lunch to work, limit impulse purchases, email friends and family instead of phoning.
- Develop a personal budget. You may find it helpful to use software such as Quicken or MS Money.
- Begin to search for outside scholarships. Use the Internet, local libraries, check with your employer or any civic or fraternal organizations you participate in to see if they offer scholarship assistance.
- Find one or more roommates to share expenses.
- Request and review your credit report. Approval for Federal and Private loans are based on a review of your credit history. It is important to have a good credit record. Start by ordering a Free Annual Credit Report. You can also contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax; 800 997 2493 or web: http://www.equifax.com/ Experian; 888 397 3742 or web: http://www.experian.com/ Trans Union; 800 888 4213 or web: http://www.transunion.com/
- Some lending institutions will base their interest rates on a borrowers credit score. You can check your credit score from Fair Isaac. Web: http://www.myfico.com
- Eliminate any credit card balances you currently carry and only use your credit cards for emergencies only.
- Do not buy or lease a new car.
- Don’t use up all your savings to take a dream vacation before returning to school.
- Don’t hesitate to ask family members for support. You don’t want them to foot the bill for your entire education, but on gift giving occasions, they can get you a backpack, a pre-paid long distance calling card or perhaps even buy you a new computer as a “going back to school gift.”
- Avoid impulse purchases and beware of buying for convenience.
The following expenses cannot be covered by federal or private educational loans:
- Credit card debt
- Security deposits
- Cell phones/internet service
- Sport and Fitness Club fees, and Club dues
- Car payments
- Travel expenses
- Interview expenses
- Personal gifts
- Summer living expenses
- Moving expenses (above the travel allowance)
- Expenses related to your job search
- Fall, Winter and Spring break travel or trips
- Lifestyle choices
Many websites offer calculators to assist you in making college affordable. Although there are several websites (including those set up by lenders) that provide useful calculators, we suggest you start with those listed below: