Financial Wellness and Literacy Program
Whether you’re an incoming freshman, transfer student, or preparing to graduate, the Financial Wellness and Literacy Program is here to help you through the transition by providing resources that help you adjust to handling all of the responsibilities that come with managing money. Our goal is to help you make more informed choices about your finances while taking responsibility for making changes to improve your present and long-term financial well-being.
Add More Value to Your College Experience
For most students, college is seen as an opportunity to continue their formal education and prepare for their intended career goals. But attending college also provides an opportunity for students to further develop their life skills, such as time management, interpersonal skills, as well as money management or “financial literacy”.
Personal Finance for the College Student:
- Don’t sign up for credit cards you don’t need.
- When you do sign up for credit cards, keep your limit low to prevent yourself from overspending. Also, ensure your interest rate is low.
- If you already have a credit card, call your credit card company and ask them to lower the interest rate.
- If you inquire about lowering your interest rate and they deny you, ask to speak to a manager and, when the manager is on the phone ask if he or she will lower your rate.If the manager says no, repeat the process the next day (you’ll likely get a different manager. Unbelievably, this often works!
- Utilize a checking account. - Checking accounts are an easy way to keep track of your funds, your budget and your spending. It also makes it easy to access cash, too. Ensure your account is with a bank that has ATM’s in locations that are convenient for you to access so you will avoid unnecessary ATM transaction fees.
- Always know your debt amount. - The amount of debt you will have at graduation so there are never any surprises. It’s not a number you should ignore because you’re afraid or don’t want to know.
** Never take out more loans than necessary!!!**
- It can be tempting to take out additional loans to pay for living expenses so you don’t have to scrape by don’t do it! Remember it’s better to scrape by in college than when you graduate from college.
- Once you graduate, you will be expected to pay back all of those loans and, even though you will have a job, your money will be going towards payments. Wouldn’t you rather have some of your hard-earned money than all of it going towards what you spent during college?
Helpful Financial Wellness Websites:
- SUNY Orange Financial Aid
- U.S. Dept of Ed: Direct Loan Program
- igrad: Personal finance, student loan and career guidance
- Federal Student Aid
- Cash Course: Your Real-Life Money Guide
- The Simple Dollar
SUNY Smart Track: A great resource for you!
SUNY Orange realizes that paying for a college education is a huge financial commitment. To assist SUNY Orange students with making informed financial decisions before, during and after college, New York State has created a free Financial Literacy service called SUNY Smart Track. SUNY Smart Track will assist you every step of the way, from the time that you apply to college to after graduation.
SUNY Smart Track is an online learning environment that empowers students for a lifetime of financial success. SUNY Smart Track provides interactive services, tools and resources to help educate students to achieve smart money management skills.