Can the Financial Management Center help students manage their money? May be…
Many students who balance work and school can have a plethora of expenses to cover, and expense management can be difficult and time consuming. Weber State’s Money Management Center exists to help students navigate financial literacy and management issues while providing services and resources to help students with individual needs.
Jennifer Garner is Financial Literacy Coordinator and Basic Needs Network Coordinator at Weber State. She oversees the Money Management Center.
âThe students I see in this office are not the ones earning $ 75,000 a year; it’s the parents who, oh my dad is undocumented, or my dad is disabled, or my dad just got out of jail, âGarner said.
The resources available are vast: there are 900 private scholarships at Weber State provided through endowments. FAFSA and Pell Grants can also subsidize student tuition fees.
âI never like to talk about free money because it’s taxpayer money,â Garner said.
It is important for students to understand the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are when taxpayers pay interest while a student is in school with payments due six months after the student leaves, and Garner says they’re typically between 4% and 7% d ‘interest.
Unsubsidized loans bear interest for the duration of study, even if a student takes a semester off. Payments are due again six months after a student leaves school. Twenty years is the typical length of a loan, but there is no penalty for prepaying them.
However, the problem persists: even though tuition fees can be covered, the costs of rent and daily living can leave students in dire financial straits.
âSeveral students have made deals with housing and the FAFSA, but then they don’t realize, oh, it’s more than I thought, it’s not affordable,â Garner said.
Students can find themselves stuck in a cycle of increasing work hours to cover incidental costs as their grades start to suffer.
“They want you to be in debt, which isn’t fair, is it?” But they want you to have debt and use it responsibly, âGarner said.
The Money Management Center offers classes and presentations to students on budgeting, understanding credit, and building savings, in addition to providing advice on lending and completing FAFSA applications. Meetings with a Money Management Center advisor are available for booking online or at the Shepherd Union 214A office across from the Fireplace Lounge.
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