09.20.12 | Financial Awareness Counseling for Students

Posted in College Life, Financial Aid, Repayment, Student Credit by Student Loan Network Staff

There has been a lot of talk lately about the financial literacy of Americans, and of the Millennial generation in particular. According to the National Financial Educators Council:

About thirty-four percent of parents have taught their teen how to balance a checkbook, and less than that has explained how credit card interest and fees work and ninety-three percent American parents with teenagers report worrying that their children might make financial missteps such as: overspending or living beyond their means.

To help combat the low rates of financial literacy, the Department of Education has recently launched a new Financial Awareness Counseling program. This online tool allows consumers to enter their student loans and other financial metrics to view reports on things like:Financial Awareness Counseling Tool

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09.19.12 | Beware of Debit Fees This Semester

Posted in College Life, Financial Aid, financial aid tips, News, Student Credit, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Piggy bank or debit cardStudents who have received financial aid in the past know the drill – the financial aid office receives the funds, applies them to the student’s account for tuition, room and board, and other expenses, then returns the remainder to the student. In the past, students have been given the option of receiving the refund by check or direct deposit, but this year, there’s a new option across many campuses – a pre-loaded debit card.

The problem

These debit cards (often endorsed by the school) may seem like a great idea up front (easy, right?) but students are warned to be cautious if selecting this method. These cards can come with high fees that can eat into your federal aid funds! Not ideal for cash-strapped students. Fees include things like “$0.50 to swipe the debit card using a PIN number, inactivity fees of $10 a month starting as soon as six months and overdraft fees as high as $38 per transaction” according to the Huffington Post.
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08.31.12 | Best Money-Saving Apps for College

Posted in College Life, Student Credit by Student Loan Network Staff

Smartphone with AppsSaving money can be time consuming, especially in the fast-paced life of college students. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the best money-saving smartphone apps for college students! Forget clipping coupons, these mobile deal-finders will help you stay on top of your game, while keeping money in your wallet.

The best thing about these apps? They’re free!

Chegg

Any accounting major can tell you that textbooks are expensive. But they don’t have to be. Find the books you need for class through the Chegg app and rent right there or even compare prices!

GasBuddy

Gas is super expensive, so why not save a little money when you can? GasBuddy finds the cheapest gas prices near you so you can save on every fill-up.
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08.16.12 | College Jobs for Freshmen

Posted in College Life, financial aid tips, News by Student Loan Network Staff

Freshman Jobs: Ways to Earn & Save Much Needed CashDid you know that 93% of Freshmen have off-campus jobs? Paying for college and living expenses is tough, that’s why we want to help you make money during the school year! It’s not always easy finding steady employment, but there are plenty of odd jobs for college students to earn cash, such as:

  • Babysitting
  • Mowing lawns
  • Shoveling snow
  • Delivering food
  • Being a bike courier
  • Stuffing envelopes

The options are seemingly endless! For more ideas on great jobs for college freshmen (both on and off campus), check out our recent infographic, Freshmen Jobs: Ways to Earn & Save Much Needed Cash.

While you’re there, let us know how you make money while in school!

08.14.12 | Tips for the First 2 Weeks of College

Posted in College Life, Twitter by Student Loan Network Staff

Welcome back readers. With college right around the corner, many of you are beginning to realize that, in a few weeks, you’re going to be leaving home to start the next chapter of your lives. For many, the idea of going to a new school by yourself is overwhelming. As excited as you are for college, you’re dreading the first few weeks of adjusting to college life. I’m here to alleviate some of that anxiety. In this article, I have compiled a handful of suggestions on how to handle your first few weeks at college, some of which I personally did, others that I wish I had done, but all of which I would do now if I had the opportunity.

Be Outgoing

Your transition to college will be much easier if you are sociable. When going to the cafeteria alone, don’t eat alone. Instead, sit with a group of people you’ve never met and introduce yourself. In addition, introduce yourself to your classmates and the kids in your residence hall.

Learn People’s Names

The first piece of advice is useless if you can’t remember the name of the person to whom you just introduced yourself. Here are some useful tips from CNN on how to remember names.

Keep an Open Door

When you’re in your room, prop the door. An open door is a way of welcoming anyone to stop by, and doing so will encourage others to come into your room to meet you.
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07.24.12 | Easy (and Interesting) Ways to Earn Money This Summer

Posted in College Life, Scholarships, Twitter by Student Loan Network Staff

With the summer winding down, many of you are starting to wonder if you put aside enough money for college.  You had a great summer, but you only worked 10 hours a week, and you know that you will want to spend a lot of money in college.  Fear not, there is still hope!  With a month left until you leave for college, there are still plenty of opportunities to earn money without missing out on the rest of summer.

Be an Extra in a Movie

Lights, camera, action!  If you’re looking for your 15 seconds of fame, you can make it happen…and get paid for it!  Movie sets are in constant need of people to serve as extras in their movies, so look online and sign up with a casting company.  Signing up is free, and you’ll be notified of opportunities such as these that are close to home.  Plus, if you have any unique skills, you may be eligible to be paid extra.

Join Focus Groups

Imagine getting paid $50 to talk about Facebook and Twitter for 2 hours.  Would you believe me if I said that you could?  Focus groups are constantly in need of teenagers to discuss their views on school, social media, and hobbies to figure out how to make their product more appealing to our age group.  A quick Google search will reveal focus groups close to you.  Sign up, and you will be notified of upcoming opportunities that you qualify for.  Just show up, have fun, and cash that check. (more…)

07.17.12 | Things to Do for Free (Or Pretty Close to It)

Posted in College Life by Student Loan Network Staff

Beach Chair Sitting in Shade Welcome back readers. I know many of you are working and trying to put aside as much money for college as possible. However, just because you have to conserve your money doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun this summer. Here’s a list of low-budget activities to keep you busy for the rest of the summer.

Go Into the City

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere near one, take the train into the city and hang out there for the day. With everything going on there , you don’t need to spend anything more than the train fare to have a good time. Watch the live broadcast of the Today show in New York City; observe the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.; walk through the San Francisco zoo.  A day spent walking around the city is a day well spent.

Sit Around a Campfire

With such nice weather, what better way to spend a summer night then hanging out with some friends at a campfire? The only requirements are chairs, a fire, and a few friends; s’mores, hot dogs, and music are just a bonus.
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07.10.12 | How to Have a Great Summer Before Leaving for College

Posted in College Life by Student Loan Network Staff

university-campus

Welcome back!  With summer vacation approaching its halfway point, many of you are probably starting to feel anxious about college.  Yes, you can’t wait to go, but you’re also starting to realize that you’re nervous about leaving home.  The best way to enter college is to enjoy these last few months at home, and here are some tips to ensure that happens.

Work Hard, Play Hard

You will want to put aside as much money as possible for spending during your freshman year, but don’t let work consume your summer.  Even if you’re working full-time, you still have the weekends off.  Use that time to hang out with your friends, or do whatever you’re passionate about.  After work, meet up with your friends instead of going home and watching TV.

Coordinate a Weekly Event

Plan an event with your friends to take place that same day every week.  This could be Poker Tuesdays, Whiffle ball Wednesdays, or anything else that you can think of.
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06.27.12 | Political Cartoon: Student Loan Scam

Posted in College Life, Financial Aid, News, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Loan Scam
 
Thanks to Peter J. Reilly at Forbes for sharing this!

 

06.22.12 | The Freshman’s Guide to Saving Money: Saving Money During the School Year

Posted in College Life, financial aid tips, News by Student Loan Network Staff

Welcome back readers.  For those just tuning in, I’m a student who recently completed his freshman year of college.

Student with Empty Wallet

College is a blast, but it’s also expensive.  After breaking the bank this past year, I’m here with advice on how to have a great time in college without spending your entire summer paycheck.

Purchasing tickets to shows/sports events

  1. Look for student discounts – When purchasing tickets to a concert, movie, sports game, etc., always see if you can get a student discount. Many such shows offer tickets at a discounted price to students.
  2. Buy cheap seats - You may really want first row seats to see your favorite team, but for the price they charge, it may not be worth it. When going to shows or sports events with friends, buy bleacher seats – You’re still going to see your favorite athlete and have a great time.

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