Students who write for the College Connect blog describe their own experiences handling and managing money and credit.

The blog writers attend Arizona State University, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. This personal finance blog project is funded by Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).


 

Spring 2022

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia

Eating in can save college students money
By Spencer Donovan
Max Kaufman, a senior sport management major at the University of Georgia, used to prepare his weekly meals every Sunday.   Read more…

There is No Price for Safety
By Troyce Grant
After a rainy day in Athens, Georgia, college student Riley Herring was driving to Aldi when the driver of a Toyota RAV 4 slammed the brakes in front of her.   Read more…

Taxes Don’t Have to Be Scary for College Students
By Caroline Nixon
When University of Georgia student, Reed Stout, thinks about filing his own taxes, he is overwhelmed by the complexity.  Read more…

The Importance of FAFSA for First-Generation College Students
By Michael Banks
Filling out the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) was the key to multiple grants, scholarships and funding opportunities that allowed Lytzy Hernandez to attend college.  Read more…

Credit Unions vs. Banks: Where should college students look to put their money?
By Thomas Ehlers
Logan Brooks is a fourth-year financial planning student at the University of Georgia.  Read more…

Is Studying Abroad Worth the Expense?
By Eloise Cappelletti
In our increasingly globalized and interconnected world, studying abroad can be a particularly beneficial opportunity, according to a professor who runs study abroad programs at the University of Georgia.  Read more…

What college students should know about Robinhood
By Stefan Caray
When Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt founded Robinhood in 2013, the company’s website said the two wanted to create “a company that leverages technology to encourage everyone to participate in our financial system.”  Read more…

Know where your money is going: Tips for budgeting as a college student
By Erin Kenney
Working as a lifeguard at a summer camp, University of Georgia junior Emma Duncan started to worry about her money.  Read more…

Be Yourself in the Scholarship Application Process
By Lily Pryor
Tate Hunda, a fourth year pre-veterinary student at the University of Georgia, said he has more financial freedom thanks to his scholarship through the Foundation Fellowship program.  Read more…

The Loan Forgiveness Dilemma
By Wynn Andrews
Tom Eldridge, a biology major at the University of Georgia, plans to attend dental school next year.  Read more…

Affordable Care Act Spurs Young Adults to Buy Into Health Insurance
By Kylee Stone
Ashley Childers was diagnosed with a medical condition called pseudotumor cerebri while in high school.  Read more…

Making the move to off-campus living
By Matthew Welsh
Since leaving her freshman year dorm in 2020, Maggie Martin has lived in three different locations including in a sorority house, an apartment and a five-person house.  Read more…

Are Venmo and Zelle safe?
By Emma Bennett
Cash transfer apps like Venmo and Zelle have become so common on college campuses that a University of Georgia student compared their popularity and recognition to that of a Coke bottle.  Read more…

College students need renters insurance
By Bobby Andrews
Based on her firsthand experience, University of Georgia student Priya Patel said college students don’t understand the value of renters insurance.  Read more…

Getting a Head Start on Paying for Medical School
By Sabrina Laster
Hannah Everest aspires to become a doctor, but the cellular biology major in her senior year at the University of Georgia said she has had trouble navigating the financial logistics of medical school.  Read more … 

Moving after college? Consider the costs of settling into your new town
By Alander Rocha
Prachi Jhamb said she endured quite the culture shock when she moved from India to the United States for her doctorate.  Read more…

Effective Ways To Negotiate a Starting Salary
By Victoria Gospodinov
When recent University of Georgia graduate Grace Fitzgerald was offered her first post-college job offer, she said she overlooked the importance of the salary negotiation process and missed the opportunity to request a higher salary.  Read more…

Starting a Business in College Could be the Best Time
By Ryan Kerley
Adam Dent has been an entrepreneur since he was in fifth grade.  Read more…

Owning a Pet on a College Student’s Budget
By Simone Eames
When Alexandra Fisher adopted a kitten her sophomore year, she said her mom’s first response was “fine, but we’re not helping you pay for it.”  Read more…

 Credit Cards: The Good and Bad for College Students
By Keshondra Shipp
A national survey revealed that fewer than 7% of college students have a credit card of their own, but Janet Miller has been one of them since 2019.  Read more…

 

 

Fall 2021

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia

The importance of budgeting in a pandemic
By Michael Banks
A year and a half into the “new normal” and spending during the pandemic is a matter taken a little more seriously than stimulus check memes for Abey Philip. Read more…

Despite return to in-person classes higher education feels lasting effects of pandemic 
By Ansleigh Edwards
Higher education has undergone vast change since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.  Read more…

Pandemic policies pause student loan payments, lower rates
By Thomas Ehlers
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided some unexpected opportunities for individuals with student loans, including graduate student Ashton Moss. Read more…

Live events return after two years of cancellations
By Jessica Green
Beginning in 2009, the Athens, Georgia, community had gathered for AthFest, a free multi-day outdoor music and arts festival featuring local bands. But in 2020, organizers cancelled the beloved event due to the global pandemic.  Read more…

Shopping sprees in 2021 take new shape
By Kate Hester
For some shopping used to be a great form of cardio, but now, most people get their shopping done with a mere two clicks — ‘add to cart’ and ‘checkout’. Read more…

Pandemic effects on travel industry
By Carah Jones
Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Either cool ocean breezes over sunburnt skin or serene treks through national parks are the subject of one-third of Americans’ daydreams, according to destination analysts.  Read more…

The consequences of the white-hot housing market
By Jamie Miller
The pandemic-era housing market is white-hot and unpredictable. It even tricked Zillow’s algorithm into making huge forecasting mistakes —mistakes that cost the online real estate company a half billion dollars. Read more…

Economic Conundrum in Georgia: A closer look at unemployment
By Emily Petraglia
The Georgia Department of Labor announced in October the state’s unemployment rate sank to its lowest level in over 20 years.  Read more… 

Changing attitudes change labor markets
By Spencer Pipkin
Most employers and education administrators oversaw a massive shift from in-person work to remote working during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. While many businesses are still weighing the options of remote, hybrid and in-person workplace situations, employees and jobseekers have shifted their attitudes and views about remote and hybrid work. Read more…

Revisiting remote internships and their advantages
By Haley Roberson
More than half of the summer internships scheduled in 2020 were cancelled due to the pandemic, which caused many students to search for other ways to gain experience in their desired career paths, according to CareerUp’s Remote Internships 2020 Covid-19 Impact Survey.  Read more…

Navigating money as a taboo topic
By Michael Banks
There are few topics that are so taboo that a parent all but avoids discussing with their child. Money is one of them. Money is a concept presented in a double bind across almost every culture. Having enough or an excess of money is associated with power and access, but not having enough money can result in psychological feelings of shame, guilt and limitation. Read more…

How to prepare for the unexpected 
By Ansleigh Edwards
Personally, I have never been the type of person to get excited about budgeting. I do not find it fun. I find it a rather arduous task that can be quite daunting because of the way that I have approached it in the past. Read more…

Importance of budgeting in college
By Thomas Ehlers
Athens, Georgia, is home to some of the best restaurants, housing, bars, boutiques, shops, entertainment and experiences that a college town can offer. Consequently, Athens is a place where students can burn some money if they are not careful. Read more…

Unexpected lessons (and costs) from my move out of state
By Jessica Green
When I packed my bags to move to Washington D.C., I tucked $50 in the side pocket. I noted this money as “In Case of Emergency.” When I landed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, I quickly realized my rainy-day bank would not get me far in this new city. Read more…

Navigating the world of freelance
By Kate Hester
What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear “freelance”? Journalist? Artist? Photographer? Agent? According to Statista, there were 59 million freelancers working in the United States in 2020. This past summer, I entered the freelance world. As a fresh college graduate preparing for grad school, I honestly had no intention of stepping into the shoes of a freelancer. But before I knew it, I was teaching myself how to send invoices via PayPal. Read more…

Praise for over two decades of HOPE in Georgia
By Carah Jones
The cost of in-state tuition at the 13 public universities in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) averages $8,305 per academic year for each school, according to the Princeton Review. As an in-state student at the University of Georgia, which is affiliated with the SEC for intercollegiate sports, my total tuition cost will average $882 per academic year by the time I graduate. Read more…

How much money should I save vs spend – recent graduate edition
By Jamie Miller
As the days of first semester dwindle down, seniors are left in a mixed state of nostalgia and anticipation. They feel nostalgic about closing a chapter in their college town and anticipation about what is to come after graduation. More specifically, what should saving versus spending look like for a recent college graduate trying to live their best post-college life? The anticipation is granted peace by one thing: budgeting. Read more…

The best and worst decision of my life     
By Emily Petraglia
When I was 18, I thought that working in a bar made me the coolest kid on the block. Few students my age were trusted with the kind of responsibility and maturity that it takes to operate in a bar successfully. I hit the bull’s eye the first try and accepted a position at the first bar I ever applied to. I thought that made me a hot topic. Read more…

How to financially prepare for unpaid internships
By Spencer Pipkin
Interning is one of the hallmark traditions of college and in some cases, a requirement. Regardless of major, alma mater or one’s enrollment time, it is one of the few mass-shared experiences of university students across the country. Read more…

Budgeting for the things we’ve missed
By Haley Roberson
As venues begin opening back up for tours, music festivals, and performances by your favorite artists, it is hard to manage the monetary balance between necessities and long-awaited, in-person entertainment following so many pandemic closures. Read more…

The Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia

Investing while in college
By Gracie Alvarez
Many students I’ve met feel like they can’t invest in the stock market during their college years because they don’t know enough, don’t have the money, and/or don’t want to risk the money they do have. In addition, some students come from backgrounds that are not supportive of investing. Read more…

Look left or right… one of 8 of us have student debt
By Anthony Ashe
According to the Department of Education nearly 42.9 million people, about one eighth of the United States, carry student loan debt. In fact, the Federal Reserve says that American owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loans taken out for college or other post-secondary school training as of June 2021.  The average student loan payment per month is about $350. Read more…

The secret to successfully getting through college financially is here, and it’s free
By Matt Brolley
Record-keeping. That’s it. That’s the most important thing when it comes to personal finance in college. College is an amazing thing, but only if you do it right. It isn’t so amazing when you are broke halfway through the semester, trying your hardest to keep up with your peers socially, which in my experience usually requires you to spend some money, and getting more and more desperate weekend-by-weekend. Read more…

The power of a “To See the World Fund”
By Monica Dunn
Have you ever booked a flight on a Monday for a weekend getaway in four days with your friends? What about traveled for two weeks across Europe by yourself? Traveling provides so many opportunities to expand your knowledge and perspective on the world. You learn things while traveling and exploring the world that you can’t learn within your normal schedules and habits. Read more…

Breaking Out of Budget-Adverse College Culture: How to make a usable student budget
By Laura Evans
Coming to college, it quickly became apparent how many students struggle with money. Between high tuition costs, low-paying jobs or the dreaded unpaid internships, and new independence in paying for things like rent and utilities, students often find themselves in dire financial straits. Read more…

How to Get A Part of Your Tuition Money Back After Taxes: A “How To” from a broke, college senior
By Isabella Ledonne
High school taught me many things but there are two things I can’t seem to forget: Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and college tuition is ridiculously expensive. It was daunting looking at colleges my senior year of high school, knowing I would be the one paying for my tuition, and seeing semester costs range up to tens of thousands of dollars. Like most seniors, I applied for every scholarship I could. And like most college seniors, I only got a small chunk of change to put towards my future education. Read more…

How to make up for a COVID-gap-year cost?
By Beibei Liu
It’s not common for an international student to take time off from school because every minute of studying abroad costs money. Even if we don’t go to school, the living expenses and housing fees add to our financial burden. Luckily, I managed to go back to my home country to spend my gap year, but it still cost an expected amount of money without my awareness. Read more…

For international students, how to find financial support for your master’s degree?
By Xinyi Luo
It is no secret that the U.S. is one of the most expensive countries for international students to further their studies. Compared to Americans, international students need to pay higher tuition to finish their degree in most cases. At the University of Missouri, the estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-22 academic year for Missouri residents is $24,092, while for non-Missouri residents, it is $42,698, almost twice the former. Read more…

Building credit while in college, and the dangers of credit cards
By Sara Sammons
It’s common for people to open their first credit card in college, and for good reason. We’re old enough to have one under our name, we’re making big purchases we might want to finance (like furniture) and, eventually, we’re starting to thinking about leasing apartments or buying cars after we graduate. Read more…

How not to spend money in college
By Dax Vogler
When I got accepted into the University of Missouri, I promised myself that I would be cautious with how I spent my money. I did not want to spend all of the money I had in my savings account the first week, just to buy things that I could not before. According to College Data, you need to create a realistic budget before going to college. This includes budgeting for random expenses to things that you actually need. Read more…

The good, the bad, and the discretionary spending
By Gehazi Whitehurst
In a perfect world, we would have one giant monthly payment that accounts for everything we are going to spend our earnings on. Alas, a real-world budget doesn’t work like this, and on top of our money going towards various fixed monthly expenses, discretionary spending is where the real budgeting troubles can begin. Read more…

Hazardous parking 
By Josie Wilkerson
Homecoming at the University of Missouri, while being the first of its kind, is a day filled with what you would typically expect. Family and friend-filled tailgates, colorful displays of school pride, and expensive parking violations. Read more…


Spring 2021

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Spring 2020

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Spring 2019

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Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017