College Connect



Students writing for the College Connect program speak from their own experience and direct their remarks to their peers. That’s the essence of College Connect — letting students connect to others through their experiences in handling and managing money and credit.  Student blog topics range from dealing with family financial crises, to how much outside employment a student should undertake during the academic year, to what should be done with leftover financial aid after tuition is paid. The blogs are on for professionals to see their work.  The project is funded by the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

Read the latest stories

College Connect: Can you really live without a TV set?

By Kouichi Shirayangi

We all grew up with television as part of the background in our lives. So, when we get to college, a TV comes along with us. I did a research of ads, and most dorm residents get a TV that’s about 32 inches. Read more…

College Connect: 4 Fun Ways to Save Money

Video by Andrea Stoll

College Connect: Some simple hacks to help you get your deposit back!

By Lauren E. Steffens

I’ve lived in every type of campus and off-campus housing – dorms, sorority house, furnished apartments, unfurnished apartments and houses. Each and every one requires a deposit. Read more…

College Connect: The debate about what it costs to go to college

By Lauren E. Steffens

This year’s Democratic primaries talked about the cost of a college education and student debt. Here are some interesting facts I found about the cost of higher education from an annual survey taken by the non-profit, College Board. Read more…

College Connect: The very high cost of college parking

By Lauren E. Steffens

Parking is the bane of college students. It’s a scene repeated every day – students are circling the metered parking lot near inner campus, waiting for students to leave so they can claim a coveted spot. After finally grabbing a spot, putting in coins or a pay card, they dash to class. Read more…

College Connect: Coupons for students go high-tech

By Kouichi Shirayangi

On a college campus, there are a lot of coupon books with student discounts. Are they good deals? That depends. Is this an item you’d buy anyway? If it isn’t it might make you spend money and not save money. Read more…

College Connect: Tips to save at the grocery store

By Kouichi Shirayanagi

A typical college students spends $80 –to $200 on groceries, depending on how much you cook. Read more…

College Connect: Don’t be penny safe and pound foolish when making big decisions

By Kouichi Shirayanagi

Perhaps the worst decision I made over the past year with my money was when I did not spend more to save anguish in the future, but I just did not know what the future held for me. Read more…

College Connect: Credit Cards: What To Know and Watch Out For

By Alex Ring

With the laundry list of other responsibilities that flood into the life of a college student credit cards can be a double-edged sword that solidifies adulthood and can pave the way for future but it should not be taken lightly. Read more…

College Connect: Starting in college – measured spending and saving

By Alex Ring

We learned in Econ 1010, that money is defined as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and lastly, a store of value. As the school year, approaches I begin to understand that last part — the practical job of money. Read more…

College Connect: Saving money

By Larissa Garza

Spending cash is a lot easier when you aren’t looking forward to a paycheck every week. As a server and bartender, most of the time my paychecks are about $20. Read more…

College Connect: Wants versus needs; a lesson learned

By Lindsey Wisniewski

For as long as I can remember, my parents warned me about the dangers of money. Before I was of legal age to obtain credit, my mom and dad, who were divorced since I was 12, had a combined four bankruptcies between the two of them. In other words, they didn’t know how to handle money properly. Read more…

College Connect: One financial regret

By Hilary Davis

I don’t have many regrets in life. I don’t like to be haunted by “what ifs.” But if I could turn back the clock, I would start saving for retirement from my first paycheck. Read more…

College Connect: Dump the cable bill

By Krandall Brantley

Several times throughout my first 3 years of college, my mother kept saying she was planning on getting rid of cable because my parents were paying too much for a bunch of channels they didn’t use. Read more…

College Connect: Change the way you save

By Judson Tomaiko

Change has a way of being taken for granted. Not “change” like the concept of something new happening but rather the physical metal coins that people get from a business on the off-chance they didn’t use their debit card. Read more…

College Connect: Credit cards are evil

By Lauren Potter 

When I first moved to the U.S. from Australia nine years ago, I was fortunate to land a really great job. For my age, and given that I had no higher education at the time, I was making a lot of money. Read more…

College Connect: Money experience story

By Anthony Prosceno

When traveling, it is a good idea to carry a little extra cash because it may turn out that your physical dollars may more value than your credit cards. Read more…

College Connect: My tips for money management

By Joseph Steen

Having money is one thing, but being able to handle it wisely is another. I’ve had both good and bad experiences and will try to give you tips on how to handle your money better. Read more…

College Connect: Getting started on budgeting

By Adam DeRose

After I landed my first job out of college, finances were tight. The consistent paychecks were great, but I also struggled figuring out how much money I had to spend on non-essential purchases (restaurants, drinks, events, etc.) Read more…

College Connect: Saving money in college: smart grocery shopping

By Sabella Scalise

In college, the first year away from my parents meant freedom, no curfew and no rules. A childhood dream come true. But college is not a dream. It is reality. Read more…

College Connect: Think small business when you have extra money

By Jiahui Jia

If I ever find myself with extra money and there are business opportunities, my experience indicates it is a good time to act. Read more…

College Connect: A lesson in debt collection

By Andrea Stoll

I have worked at a debt collection agency here in Columbia for about a year and a half. While most people start working in the mail department and get drafted into a permanent department, I was immediately called to work in Bookkeeping. Read more…

College Connect: Looking for part-time work to ease the financial crunch

By Nina Cavender

One of the most important things you can do as a freshmen, other than schoolwork is finding a job. It not only provides an extra bullet point on your resume (which always helps), but it can take some pressure off your parents, and you, financially. Read more…

College Connect: Make big chain stores your friend

By Kouichi Shirayanagi

Big chain stores that sell merchandise in the United States usually have liberal take-back policies. Most of the time when you buy something at a chain you can take it back if you don’t absolutely need it. This is very important. If you don’t need something take it back. Sometimes you can even get store credit for the sale price of an item even if you don’t have a receipt so ask every major store about their take back policy before you buy anything. Read more…

College Connect: Saving money on college travel

By Brea Love

When we think of the most expensive thing we could possibly do in college it probably involves taking a trip somewhere. I’ve been on quite a few trips within the last four years, and I never thought I could afford them until I met my friend who was a travel guru. She knew all about how to travel cheap. She is a major saver, but we’ve gotten hotel rooms and cabins for less than $100 with her tips and tricks. Read more…

College Connect: Think in terms of future value when spending

By Kouichi Shirayanagi

Some things in life are essential for everyday living. But a lot of purchases we tend to make are not necessarily essential. If you took $100 in today’s money and held it in a mutual fund that gave you an average return of 7% interest per year you would have $1497.45. Think about that. Read more…

College Connect: Slow down and save some cash

By Brea Love

Fast isn’t always good for your wallet. I know when we get really busy with classes, work, tests, and studying you feel like you don’t have time to cook. Of course our first thought is to drive through McDonalds or Taco Bell to grab something quick. The dollar menu is a dollar, but dollars add up. I’ve made that mistake before. Those $3 or $4 purchases can add up to $50 very fast. If you have a fast food addiction like I do, and can’t kick it there’s pretty easy ways to save money. Read more…

College Connect: Follow Buffett’s advice and avoid credit cards

By Kouichi Shirayanagi

In his talk to a group of high school students in the Omaha area, Warren Buffett has one major piece of unsolicited advice before he takes questions: “Avoid credit cards.” ( Buffett says that young people need to adopt good financial habits early and it is impossible to have a good financial future if you are borrowing money at 18-20% carrying credit card debt. This advice is particularly telling because Buffett is a major stake holder in many companies that issue credit cards including Wells Fargo Bank, American Express and Bank of New York Mellon. Read more…

College Connect: Saving Money on college text books

By Brea Love

As college comes to an end I’m looking back on the things I wish I would of known while I was here. Its not where the good parties were, or what easy classes I could of taken. I wish I would of known how to not dish out hundreds and hundreds on books each semester. It was so frustrating buying a $100 book; just to find out I barely needed it, and never opened it. I’ll share my foolproof tips to save you some dollars when it comes to situations like these. Read more…

College Connect: Buy stocks every time you can and hold on to them

By Kouichi Shirayanagi

Every month that you are working and earning money it is important to save your money. According to NeighborWorks America, a network of affordable housing professionals, 34% of adults in America say they don’t have any emergency savings and 47% of adults in America have said their savings would last 3 months or less. Read more…

College Connect: Is quick cash hanging in your closet?

By Brea Love 

Do you have old things just hanging around your closet? I know I do. Students are always wondering how we can save money, make money, and keep money. Sometimes the answers to those questions are right inside of your bedroom. Your clothes can collect a serious profit. Those old jeans your grandma gave you in 2008 aren’t cool anymore, now is the time to recycle and make money. Read more…

College Connect: Preparing to survive, thrive during post college job search

By Ninfa Saavedra

The idea of graduating from college and immediately starting a career is not reality, so spending continues for many new college graduates — without a job. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for recent graduates in 2014 was 3.3%. That’s higher than normal and 16.8% of new graduates are “unemployed” and can’t get jobs, job hunting or working part-time jobs while looking for permanent positions. Read more…

College Connect: As Internships start to end, consider a new job

By Morgan M. Grayned

As summer internships begin to end, it might be time to consider whether you want to stay. Some internships end as early as late July. Others end in early or mid August. Some internships can become a full-time job. About 70 percent of internships at larger companies make full-time job offers to their interns, according to an survey. Every year companies, large and small, hire bright students for internship and co-op programs. Many students seek internships to help evaluate their career goals and gain hands-on professional work experience. Some employers seek interns to mold them for entry-level positions. Read more…

College Connect: Scholarship Savvy

By Mariah Hickman

You chose the college of your dreams, sent in what appears to be one of the best and brightest applications along with recommendations, an entrance essay that would knock the socks off of any college recruiter, paid your application fee and received that grand news that you had been accepted. Read more…

College Connect: The Need (or Want) to Work Multiple Jobs

By Phil Joens

More than likely the income from your first job will be enough to get you by, but not much more. In addition to my full-time job I’m also getting paid to do freelance journalim and umpiring. I have been able to pile a little I cash on hand because of my full-time job. But I feel pressure, as I’ve detailed in past posts, because I have credit cards to pay down, and a student loan deferment that ends in June. Read more…

College Connect: The Income Effect

By Phil Joens

As I walked through the aisles at Walmart Express in Columbia, Mo., my stomach grumbled with hunger. I graduated from the University of Missouri only a few weeks before, and I kept thinking about how I was poor, on a tight budget and how everything in the store look good. Then a can of Chef Boyardee beef ravioli caught my eye. That day, it was on sale for just 75 cents, marked down from $1.50. I went to the store intending to buy a can of Campbell’s potato soup for about $2 for that night’s dinner. Read more…

College Connect: Your credit score: what does it mean and why you should care

By Lauren Langille

Your credit score is a number used to determine your riskiness of borrowing money from a lender. The higher the score, the more likely you are to pay back the loan. This means the lender is taking on less risk, so they are willing to lend you money at a lower interest rate. However, a lower number indicates you are a greater risk, so it becomes more expensive and can be difficult to borrow money. Read more…

College Connect: How and when to invest while in college

By A.J. Feather

Many college students have loans, bills and unexpected expenses around every corner. So it might seem silly to start investing, and in some cases it is. Loans and utilities might seem more pressing than retirement, but there are a lot of advantages to getting a head start even if you have some debts outstanding. Read more…

College Connect: Ways to save while interning

By Annie Dankelson

Like many of my fellow journalism students, I’ve been fortunate enough to land an internship this summer. And, especially with help the prestigious journalism schools out there these days, these internships can really take you anywhere. So while you could very well find a nice newspaper in your hometown and spend the summer at home with Mom and Dad, you also might find yourself miles away in a city you’ve never been to. Read more…

College Connect: Remember implicit costs while job hunting

By Annie Dankelson

For seniors across America, graduation just finished up or is right around the corner. And with that, of course, comes entering the “real world” and the ever-important job search. For some people, that might be easy. But for journalism majors like myself, things might be a little more difficult. How many times have we all heard the speech that journalism is a dying field that makes no money and has no jobs? Read more…

College Connect: How to get paid for buying groceries (but it requires discipline)

By Madeline O’Leary

I have a food-buying problem. That’s mainly due to the fact that I like to cook. But I’ve still been to the grocery store three times in the past week, and I’ve spent over $100 because of those visits. Aside from housing, it’s safe to say that the next largest chunk of my income evaporates at the grocery store. Soon, I plan to get a credit card, and I’ve conveniently discovered that I can get rewarded for simply spending a lot of my money on groceries (which is already a reality). Read more…


Read past news stories


College Connect: Eight steps to managing your frivolous expenses

College Connect: Piecing together a budget in on of America’s largest, most lavish cities

College Connect: The Cost of Uncertainty

College Connect: A financial milestone: paying off my car loan

College Connect: Grads Face Rough Job Market

College Connect: Taxes: Students need to learn how to file

College Connect: The thing we forget about – health insurance

College Connect: Talking budgets with Mom has a generation gap

College Connect: My first semester abroad

College Connect: Parents and Personal Finance

College Connect: Learning from our parents financial mistakes

College Connect: Need a fresh look at your spending? There’s an app for that.

College Connect: Save money on tuition by looking for classes off campus

College Connect: Starting young

College Connect: Bargains may really be blunders

College Connect: A college student and the fiscal cliff

College Connect: ‘Tis the season of exchanging gifts

College Connect: Paying for college on a budget

College Connect: Weighing the post-college job offer

College Connect: Earning money on the side

College Connect: Preventing Debit Card Fraud

College Connect: How to talk about money — when you live together

College Connect: It’s never to early to start building good credit

College Connect: Planning ahead for student travel

College Connect: Lessons learned while studying abroad

College Connect: Live like a student (including budgeting…)

College Connect: Back home again – saving your sanity while still saving money

College Connect: Getting Into College: An Expensive Story

College Connect: The cost of a summer internship

College Connect: The hidden cost of education

College Connect: Growing Up and Paying Taxes: Pricey welcome to the adult world

College Connect: Jobs in college double as career experience

College Connect: Sometimes good news comes with a price tag

College Connect: You Got To Spend Money To Make Money

College Connect: Smart shopping – beating back the lure of the impulse purchase

College Connect: Conference cash may not always be there, but you can still make the contacts

College Connect: Health Insurance: Pay the premiums and avoid the pain

College Connect: Spring break planning calls for caution

College Connect: College plans survive family’s financial storm

College Connect: How much work is too much?

College Connect: Sweet as they may be, tuition refunds aren’t free money

College Connect: Coupon Clipping Can’t Make a King

College Connect: Traveling on a Budget

College Connect: Finding Cents

College Connect: Learn to barter and be generous in college

College Connect: College on Coupons- clipping can save!

College Connect: Study Abroad Dreams – making the cost worthwhile

College Connect: Financial Aid: An Awesome Way of Saving Money

College Connect: Tough Decisions – internship, or take a job?

College Connect: Taking a semester off: Dreams vs. Money: Reality Sets In

College Connect: Life in a Greek house

College Connect: Taking a semester off – a risky proposition

College Connect: Negotiating with parents – the tough call

College Connect: Not the time to tie up money in CDs

College Connect: Finances are a big part of the job hunt

College Connect: You can have what you want, even in college

College Connect: Are joint bank accounts a good idea?

College Connect: Learning to build good credit the American way

College Connect: How to open a bank account in the U.S.

College Connect: It’s Spring break –Let’s make some money!

College Connect: Jumping into financial risk when benefits changed

College Connect: Buying Our First Place: Little House, Big Decision

College Connect: Saving requires doing the little things

College Connect: Using Smartphones to Save, and Help Manage Your Money

College Connect: New GI Bill restrictions helped many, but hurt some (like me) in the process

College Connect: Students’ Points of View on Personal Finance – Part Two

College Connect: Adjusting to a new currency

College Connect: Holiday shopping not always a ‘deal’

College Connect: Students’ Points of View on Personal Finance


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