Posts Tagged ‘debt-free college’

posted by | on College Tips | Comments Off on Why You Need to Know About FAFSA Deadlines

As FAFSA deadlines are approaching, it is important to make sure that you file your FAFSA on time if you are planning to attend college in the fall. You can find out when the FAFSA deadline is according to the State in which you are currently a residence. Click here to find your state deadline. Still, many students and parents have questions about the FAFSA form. Is it worth the time and effort to fill it out? Today, the question that we are answer is as follows:

How can a FAFSA benefit me if I am not wanting to take out loans?

1. Scholarships. Many scholarship applications are based on financial need. The FAFSA can be used by schools to allocate these specific types of scholarships. Without filing your FAFSA, it is difficult to prove your financial need to a college. Even private scholarships that are not connected with a school will have need-based scholarship opportunities. By submitting your FAFSA on time, you are prepared to apply for different scholarships that are based on financial need.

2. Grants. A common type of U.S. Federal grant is the Federal Pell Grant. You do not have to repay this grant. (Although you always want to double-check on grants to make sure that you do not have to repay them. If you do, the grant is more like a loan.) Allocation of the Federal Pell Grant is based on financial need, hence one more reason to file your FAFSA. Other grants will have similar stipulations and require your FAFSA to be filed in order to be eligible.

When you are filling out your FAFSA form, make sure that you work with your parents, as their income information has to be filed, as well. Although it can take a little time and effort to submit the FAFSA form, it can be very beneficial when you are applying for need-based scholarships and grants! Just remember, just because you submit your FAFSA form does not mean that you should take student loans that are offered to you. The Direct Stafford Loan is the most common type of federal student loan for which you could be eligible. However, you have to pay it back.  If you are “eligible” for a $20,000 a year loan, you could potentially have $80,000 of student loan debt by the time you graduate! Yikes! Here’s another solution: Use the tips found in the book, Smart Work U, to help you graduate from college debt-free with no loans.

Question: What is the most challenging part about filing your FAFSA? Make sure to leave your answer in the comments below. 

To your college success!

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posted by | on College Tips | Comments Off on How to Pay Your Bills in College

Do you have to pay your own bills now that you are in college?

Being responsible for your finances is part of growing up.  When you go off to college, you learn first hand that money is finite, meaning that it eventually runs out. Your income from your job will help you pay your bills. However, it can be scary if you don’t have a plan to pay your bills. How will you pay for unexpected car repairs? From cell phones to insurance, keeping track of your expenses is key.

The question we are answering is about how to pay your bills each month.

Click the video below to learn 3 tips to help you shed the fear and uncertainty about your finances.

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posted by | on News | Comments Off on Money Matters – OnCourse Magazine

It is an honor to have written an article in the ONCOURSE magazine.  The article, Money Matters, tackles 3 areas that deal with your finances as you head back to college. It talks about how money not only impacts you, but everyone around you. Here’s a quote from the article.

“But, if you don’t learn how to handle your finances, money will not just burn a hole in your pocket but could potentially “burn holes” in your relationships with your friends, parents, and future spouse.”

I would love for you to read the whole article. You can download the ONCOURSE Magazine App on your Ipad or other device from the “Newstand.” The best news is that the app is FREE! The whole magazine is very interactive and geared toward young people!  Here is a picture of it from my iPad.

To Your College Success!



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posted by | on College Tips | Comments Off on How to Work, Save Money for College, and Have a Fun Summer

Is it possible to work and still have a fun summer?

Saving money to pay for college will require dedication from you. It can be challenging to work in the summer, especially if your friends don’t have a job. Yet, working in the summer is a great way to pay for college. You usually have less commitments than you do during the school year.  When the semester starts, you have to go to class, study, spend time with friends, be involved in on-campus activities, or volunteer in addition to working.

The question that we are answering today is about how to balance work and still have a fun summer.

Here are three tips to help you stay motivated to keep working this summer:

What do you do to stay motivated in the summer? Share your strategy in the comments below.

To Your College Success!

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Meeting Dave Ramsey


posted by | on News | Comments Off on Meeting Dave Ramsey

At Smart Work U, we help students navigate their way through college in order to graduate early, debt-free. We are always looking for people that share a similar mission. So, when I had the opportunity to meet financial expert, Dave Ramsey, I jumped on it!  It was an honor to meet Dave Ramsey and some of his staff this week.  We were able to see how he does his weekly radio show, which was live while we were there! He was interviewing a couple on the radio live from the lobby and we got to hear their “debt-free scream.”  He has truly impacted the way people view money and has changed peoples’ lives. I am continually inspired by his message. Considering the debt problems in this nation, his mission to help people get out of debt is practical, realistic, and doable. Also, I had the opportunity to meet his daughter, Rachel Cruz, who is equally as passionate about helping the younger generations live debt-free lives.  We were on a tour of the building, and she was getting off of the elevator. She was so wonderful to stop and chat with us!  It was an honor to share Smart Work U with them. The staff were so friendly and hospitable. Enjoy the pictures and make sure to watch the video at the bottom of the post!

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posted by | on College Tips | Comments Off on How to Decide on a College

Are you struggling to decide on which college to attend in the fall?

It can be a challenge to narrow down your options to one school, especially if you have scholarship offers at multiple schools.

The question that we are answering today is about how to decide between 3 great college options and be confident that it is the right fit for you.

Here are three tips to help you pick a college that you love just in time for school to start in August.

What strategies did you use to narrow down your options and pick one school? Make sure to share your strategy in the comments below.

To Your College Success!

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