College Connect




SABEW continues its beneficial and productive association with the College Connect project, which began in spring 2010 at the Society’s home at Arizona State University and has since involved students from the University of Missouri and Ball State University.

The program this semester features Missouri once again.  A class of students is involved in sharing their experience with managing money to fellow students.

The project is funded by the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

Marty Steffens, SABEW Chair in Business at the University of Missouri

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.

Last semester, students from the University of Missouri, Columbia, participated in the program under the supervision of Professor Marty Steffens, who occupies the SABEW Chair in Business Journalism at that institution.  Steffens once again will coordinate the Missouri work.

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.

Read the latest stories


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


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…

College Connect: Eight steps to managing your frivolous expenses


My budget is usually thwarted by my unrelenting cravings for meals that I can’t make for myself. These meals most often involve Mexican cuisine. One day last week, I spent the majority of the afternoon pacing around my house, resisting the nagging urge to get on Yelp and research Miami’s greatest fish tacos. I eventually gave into this urge, because my love for fish tacos is vast and my quest for the perfect fish taco is never-ending. I found a place kind-of near my house, and ventured out into rush-hour traffic on Biscayne Boulevard. Read more…


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


I moved to Miami about a week ago to take an internship at the Miami Herald. As a Missouri native and cold-weather aficionado, the South is largely a strange and foreign land to me, so I fully expected to melt into a pool of oil within 48 hours of entering Floridian territory. That, fortunately, has not been the case. And I’m living just fine in the sun with extra dark sunglasses and a constant protective coating of SPF 30. Climate aside, there is one aspect of this city that has left me reeling with worry—and learning to grasp it will teach me a hard, albeit necessary, life lesson. Read the full story here…


The Cost of Uncertainty


It’s most important question every graduate faces: What is next?

Up until about March of this year I had no clue of what I would be doing after graduation. All I knew was that I was tired of the Midwest and that I wanted to go to work somewhere in Southern California. I spent the greater half of my senior year filling out applications to jobs and fellowships. I wanted to apply for anything that remotely involved California and journalism. Eventually I landed an 8-week paid internship in Los Angeles. I was very excited at the time and still am very grateful for the opportunity. Read the full story…


A financial milestone: paying off my car loan


I’ve waited for a long time to write these words: my car is paid off. At the beginning of February, I paid the remainder of my loan and gave myself a pat on the back.

My car loan wasn’t scheduled to be paid off for another year or so. But when my parents told me I had to take over the loan obligation after I graduated college, I vowed to pay back the loan as soon as I could. Read the full story…


Grads Face Rough Job Market


Here’s some distressing news for soon-to-be grads, since I’m sure that’s what you were hoping for. A report out this week from the Economic Policy Institute said there is little hope for young graduates. The depressing message: if you get a job, it’s going to be a low-paying entry-level position. Read more…


Taxes: Students need to learn how to file


Filing taxes can be scary for working folks of all ages. In fact, more than 80 percent of filers used a tax-preparation service or software to complete their yearly returns. Read the full story…


The thing we forget about – health insurance

By Hannah Spaar

One of the most important things we don’t like to think of ourselves as old enough to worry about is insurance. But it’s something that once set up, we can forget about and get back to having fun. Read the full story…


Talking budgets with Mom has a generation gap

By Hannah Spaar

One of what I consider the best traits of our generation is our bold moves toward female financial independence, especially while in relationships. But this is something our parents’ generation didn’t experience, so it’s important for us to communicate the difference to them when talking about finances. Read the full story…


College Connect: My first semester abroad

By Robert Abel

This spring I spent my first semester abroad. I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I had planned to use the money from financial aid to support myself while I was abroad. It would have been roughly over $4,000, which would have been a little over $1000 a month to live on. The only problem was the extra money was through parent plus, or a loan that your parents co-sign on for an added amount. To tell a long story short, that money never came because my parents weren’t approved for the loan. Oh boy.  The whole time my parents told me that they would take care of the situation, even though the money wasn’t approved. Read the full story…


College Connect: Parents and Personal Finance

By Robert Abel

My first post was about how I felt the need to help and give back to my parents. I spoke about how I used the money left over from my student loans to help my parents with bills and other expenses. While I still support helping my parents, I would also like to expand on my previous post by  talking about the limitations and what I have learned since. Read the full story...


College Connect: Learning from our parents financial mistakes


My first post was about how I felt the need to help and give back to my parents. I spoke about how I used money left over from my student loans to help my parents with bills and other expenses. While I still support helping my parents, I would like to expand on my previous post by addressing the limitations and what I have learned. Read the full story…


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


Smartphone apps are seemingly everywhere these days – one for every purpose imaginable. Some are for fun and others for work. But what if you need to get your financial life in order? Read the full story…


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


College can be expensive. Everyone knows that. But if you’re already in college, why not also try and save some money and stress? How’s that possible, you might ask yourself. Is there some strange class not in the course catalog that offers the same credit of your regular classes, but costs less and is pass/fail? If these magical classes existed, would you enroll in them? Read the full story…


College Connect: Starting young


College is full of decisions. Some of them, like what to major in or who to date, are obvious. Others can be less clear. Yet, there’s one decision that you could start right now that puts you in a better financial position than almost all other college students. It’s not winning the lottery, or inheriting large amounts of money, it’s saving money and investing. Read the full story…


College Connect: Bargains may really be blunders


The rise in popularity of online deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and Lifebooker has been about as dramatic as the discounts they offer. The discount sites have seen spectacular growth in recent years, aided by the U.S. recession and increased consumer interest in mobile technology. Read the full story…


College Connect: A college student and the fiscal cliff


As a young college student surviving on canned tuna and cheap beer, there was not much that met the eye for me for some time on this whole fiscal cliff thing. All that I had heard was that tax hikes and spending cuts were coming, and Congress will be dysfunctional as always in solving the problem. Read the full story…


College Connect: ‘Tis the season of exchanging gifts


The winter holidays are supposed to be a time of giving thanks and celebrating the company of family and friends. I always get a little stressed out, though, at the thought of exchanging gifts. When I was younger, my parents would give my three sisters and I some cash, drop us off at the local mall and we’d spend the day in alternating pairs, buying gifts for the family. Read the full story…


College Connect: Paying for college on a budget


If you’re doing it essentially alone, paying for college isn’t going to be an easy task, especially in today’s economic times. Read the full story…


College Connect: Weighing the post-college job offer


Finding a job: the new frontier — at least, it is for college students. Finding a job post-graduation can be a daunting and frightening task, but choosing a job can be even scarier. What do I mean by that? Sifting the good jobs from the…job with less benefits. Read the full story…


College Connect: Earning money on the side


As a graduate student, I’m not exactly making the big bucks. I have a graduate assistantship working as an assistant news editor at the Columbia Missourian that grants me a tuition waiver and an above-minimum wage. I still, however, have more out in students loan than I’m comfortable with so I spend a fair amount of time picking up extra hours at the Missourian or looking for odd jobs. Read the full story…


College Connect: Preventing Debit Card Fraud


It was the scariest phone call I’ve ever received. I suppose, in retrospect, I should be happy it is the scariest phone call I’ve ever received. But waking up to a phone call from a stranger telling you he has reason to believe your bank account has been compromised is never good. Read the full story…


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


When my partner and I decided to move in together, we knew we’d need to have some frank (and uncomfortable) discussions about money. We’re both graduate students, and that means staying within our budgets is important. Read the full story…


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


It is supposed to be easy. Credit card companies practically beg students with youthful naïveté and lackluster self-control to open an account. I receive at least four credit offers in the mail each year; an everlasting irony, considering I am rejected by the same companies every time. Read the full story…


College Connect: Planning ahead for student travel

By JUSTIN YANG, University of Missouri

November usually marks the beginning of the yearning to take a break from the onslaught of midterms and endless amounts of papers waiting to be written. Going home in November means reconnecting with old friends about your wild college experiences and a chance to show off how much you’ve grown since leaving high school. Read the full story…


College Connect: Lessons learned while studying abroad

By ARMEEN MISTRY, University of Missouri

This past summer when I studied abroad in Argentina, there was question about how I would deal with money, with paying for things on a day-to-day basis. My parents were from an era of Traveler’s cheques and hard cash exchange.  The study abroad coordinator suggested I withdraw money using my debit card regularly. After some research, we realized unfortunately there was no direct partner bank for ours in Argentina. Read the full story…


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

By ARMEEN MISTRY, University of Missouri

At the beginning of this semester, I applied to approximately 25 law schools. Call me crazy, stupid, naive, or whatever you would like, it was intense to say the least. Fortunately, many schools offered application fee waivers which cut down on some of the expense, but the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), in all their glory, decided to tack on a $16 fee for each school. Read the full story…


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

By BENJAMIN DASHLEY, Ball State University

After living on your own for most of a year, it’s no fun to move back in with your parents.

I’m doing it this year to save some money while I complete an internship only 20 miles away from my dad’s house, but it’s the first time I’ve done that since high school. Read the full story…


College Connect: Getting Into College: An Expensive Story

By ANDERS MELIN, University of Missouri

I don’t buy many of the arguments coming from Republican politicians and activists, but they frequently touch on one subject that I can only fully agree with; that bureaucratization and documentization of the United States is a real problem and a massive waste of resources. Aside from filing taxes, the endless errands at the DMV, and trying to obtain citizenship, there is an even more perfect example of this faulty system that becomes a burden of ordinary citizens – college applications. Read the full story…


College Connect: The cost of a summer internship

By CODY LAGROW, University of Missouri

Spring always brings new beginnings. For most, the season represents opportunity, growth and improvement.

But ask a college student what spring means, and you might get a different answer. Read the full story…


College Connect: The hidden cost of education

By STEVEN RICH, University of Missouri

A graduate assistantship is like a gift from the heavens. If you get one at MU, it entails 10 hours of work a week for a full tuition waiver. As an out-of-state student, this was absolutely enticing. Read the full story…


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

By VICTORIA ISON, Ball State University

In the last month, I’ve had to make more adult financial decisions than ever before: three, to be exact. I paid taxes, prepared to buy a car and decided to live off campus. Read the full story…

College Connect: Jobs in college double as career experience

By SARAH BOSWELL, Ball State University

As long as you’re paying your way through college — as nearly half of us are — you might as well make it worth your while by picking up real skills along with a paycheck. Read the full story…


College Connect: Sometimes good news comes with a price tag

By CODY LAGROW, University of Missouri

Spring always brings new beginnings. For most, the season represents opportunity, growth and improvement. But ask a college student what spring means, and you might get a different answer. Read the full story…

College Connect: You Got To Spend Money To Make Money

By ANDERS MELIN, University of Missouri

It was a late evening in early August of 2007 that I first stepped onto American soil at the airport outside of Charlotte, N.C. Read the full story…

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

By VICTORIA ISON, Ball State University

The tomato basil potato chips are begging to be bought. In a colorful, crackly bag, sitting prominently beneath a sale sign, they scream “we’d be perfect for your party!” Read the full story…

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

By KELLY DICKEY, Ball State University

I was thrilled when I found out this year’s American Copy Editor’s Society, or ACES, conference would be held in New Orleans. Thoughts of meeting professionals, attending workshops and maybe taking a little trip down Bourbon Street rushed through my head. Read the full story…

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

By VICTORIA ISON, Ball State University

It’s easy to say. Get covered: when sickness strikes and you don’t have health insurance, physical or financial ruin is likely to follow. Read the full story…

Spring break planning calls for caution

By SARAH BOSWELL, Ball State University

Spring break, that welcome pause before the last weeks of the semester, also offers the risk of financial pitfalls and other trouble amid the fun. Here’s our list of quick tips and lessons learned from other students. Read the full story…

College plans survive family’s financial storm

By BENJAMIN DASHLEY, Ball State University

All too quickly it was gone. Years of money set aside for my education – tucked away into supposedly safe investments, mutual funds, bank accounts. Gone. Read the full story…

How much work is too much?

By SARAH BOSWELL, Ball State University

You probably know somebody like my friend Kayla. She’s a college senior who’s been putting herself through school while working about 25 hours per week – at various times as a restaurant server, teaching dance lessons and even wrangling kids at a daycare. She and her boyfriend live together and share expenses. He also works part time at a supermarket meat counter. All that work hasn’t changed one fact of college life: The bills pile up fast. The boyfriend is $40,000 in debt, and Kayla isn’t sure exactly how much she owes. Read the full story…

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

By BENJAMIN DASHLEY, Ball State University

The other morning I found a $700 check written to me. I didn’t work for it, I didn’t steal it. The check, of course, came from the loan I took out to pay for school. It’s tuition refund time, when thousands of us find ourselves with the money left over from our student loans after tuition is paid. So what do you do when 700 bucks suddenly falls out of the sky? Read the full story…

Coupon Clipping Can’t Make a King

By VICTORIA ISON, Ball State University

Chex Mix, Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios – these are snacks my family enjoys at the mercy of the Sunday paper. Clipping coupons is my mother’s regular chore and my papa’s particular pleasure. For him, saving a few dollars and cents on groceries turns a trip to the grocery story into a triumph. Read the full story…

Traveling on a Budget

By DAVID WIETLISPACH, University of Missouri

It’s one of the great conundrums of college — going away for school, gaining independence, and … being stranded. For many, getting anywhere in a college town, or getting from a college town to anywhere, can be a tricky proposition. It was my reality for two years of my college experience. But, if you’re on a budget, and determined to travel, you’ll find that there are plenty of options. Read the full story…

Finding Cents

By KELLY DICKEY, Ball State University

In my family, college wasn’t an option – it was just part of the plan. Even at age 5 I remember my folks saying that a four-year university was in my future. And being the upper-middle class family we were — it would be on their dime. Read the full story…

Learn to barter and be generous in college

By LAUREN STEFFENS, University of Missouri

Going to college is expensive, but there are the ways to save. I’ve found that every day there are a lot of discretionary expenses – where to go for lunch, how much to spend going out, buying clothing. Read the full story…

College on Coupons- clipping can save!

By DAVID WIELISPACH, University of Missouri

Let’s face it. Trying to get by in college is a great lesson in economics. Making dollars stretch just far enough for food, rent, utilities and fun, is a perfect primer in the laws of supply and demand — or scarcity and want. But, when you approach the problem of making dollars seem more than they actually are, good old-fashioned couponing comes to the rescue. Read the full story …

Study Abroad Dreams – making the cost worthwhile

By ALEX SAGI, University of Missouri

My dream took five years to come true and started while browsing the web to find my college home and career path.

I wanted to live at the center of the political and economic world, meet its leaders, tell its stories and breath in its culture.  As a high school junior enjoying American history and government classes, I was smitten by the University of Missouri’s opportunity to report from the parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Read the full story…

Financial Aid: An Awesome Way of Saving Money

By DERON DALTON, University of Missouri

When I returned from NYC to Kansas City, Mo. I was broke. I was worried about how I was going to pay second month’s rent and have money in my pocket for whatever I needed for when I returned to Columbia, Mo. Read the full story …

Tough Decisions – internship, or take a job?

By KAITLIN LOUKIDES, University of Missouri

Two weeks ago, I graduated from the University of Missouri with my degree in Broadcast Journalism in one hand, and an unpaid internship in the other. Read the full story …

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

By CANDACE SAUTMAN, University of Missouri

Never let money play a factor in pursuing your dreams, or so we’re told.

That notion sounds nice, but money typically plays the largest factor. This has become increasingly clear during my time here in New York City. Read the full story …

Life in a Greek house

by Lauren Steffens, University of Missouri

One of the biggest decisions a college student makes is whether to join a sorority or fraternity. There’s a lot of pressure on some campuses, where 40 percent of students are members of a Greek organization. Read the full story …

Taking a semester off – a risky proposition

By Candace Sautman, University of Missouri

This semester, I decided to not go to college, and gain valuable work experience in New York City. I had interned here over the summer, and a magazine editor I met offered me the great chance to intern this semester – though no pay, which is common. Since the summer job was paid, I did have some savings, but as it turns out, not enough. Read the full story …

Negotiating with parents – the tough call

By Candace Sautman, University of Missouri

My dad is a single parent, so I only have him for support. In order to support my decision to stay in New York City this semester for an unpaid internship, a family friend decided to call him to see if he would change his mind about offering me some kind of financial support. Read the full story …

Read past news stories


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


SABEW - Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University

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