College Connect Blog

Students who write for the College Connect blog describe their own experiences handling and managing money and credit. Blog topics include family financial crises, working while going to school, financial aid, managing debt and more. 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).

Read the latest stories

College Connect Spring 2019: Planning for Study Abroad: How to finance your semester BEFORE you get there

By Mimi Wright

If there is one piece of advice that I would give to any college student, it would be this: study abroad. The experiences, connections and sights you see are priceless. But unfortunately, the trip is not. Studying abroad is a hefty financial undertaking. It can be extremely overwhelming when you are faced with the program fee, because I know I was. A helpful tip: PLAN AHEAD. I worked a lot the summer before my spring study abroad so that I had some cushion for the blow. But even that wasn’t enough for what my program fee was. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: How to travel cheaply while studying abroad

By Chloe Thornberry

Arriving in the country that’s you’ve chosen to do your study abroad is a thrill.  But it’s just the start – now that you’ve taken this big leap, you might as well see as much of the world as possible. If there are alarms going off in your head telling you that sounds off-the-wall expensive, take a breath. There are ways to travel abroad without breaking the bank. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Learning about financial aid, right from the source!

By Sydney Calhoun

Who would have thought that a journalism major would be working in a university financial aid office, but I’m glad I do!  In today’s world of student loans and repayment plans, life can get the best of your wallet. After all, two-thirds of students at public universities like mine have student loans. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: What to do when your campus job is a brain drain

By Payton Cousins

What do you do when your job is intellectually and mentally exhausting? What do you do when you need more hours to make more money, but you don’t have the brain power to keep working? This is a problem that I experience all the time. I currently work as a writing tutor at the University of Missouri, which means that my job is basically helping students at any stage in the writing process. It can be in any topic, from Engineering, English, Political Science… I have even edited creative writing pieces for Literature and Film Writing classes. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Saving Up to Giddy Up

By Paulina Crum

First – you have to know that I’m from Montana. I have been riding horses since I was six, and have desperately wanted a horse of my own, but I have never been able to afford to buy one. Now, it seems like there may be a way to finally purchase the horse I have always wanted. I have been hired for two good paying jobs this summer at a public relations firm and as a receptionist at an equine vet clinic. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: All Work, No Play: Why Everyone Needs to Find A Balance

By Paola Rodriguez

All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy. As much as this may seem to be true, working is quite important at the end of the day. It is a means to receiving income in order to live even if it creates a struggle to keep a balance of a social life, good grades, internships and living as comfortably as possible. For many students across the country, this is a reality. Devon Bennett, a junior at the University of Missouri- Columbia, admitted his own struggles as a working student. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: How to Afford a Trip to the Movies

By Abby Monteil

College is often characterized as a place to gain exposure to new experiences and culture, as well as to meet new people. One reputable way to do this is to catch a new movie with friends. However, a trip to the theater is getting increasingly difficult to afford for college students who are dealing with the costs of attending school. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Money Saving Tips for Your Time Abroad

By Eli Lederman

So you’re studying abroad? Awesome. You’ve been accepted into your program. You’ve completed all the painstaking paperwork and endured the process of getting a visa or any other documentation process. You even performed all the financial gymnastics necessary and now, finally, you’ve arrived in Europe or South America or another far away land you’ve chosen to expand your horizons and experience the world. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Earning and Saving Money with Out Leaving Your Dorm Room

By Meredith Westrich

Juggling a job while being a full-time student can extremely stressful—there seems to never be enough time or money.  One solution is to make money on your own time schedule, without even ever having to leave your room. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Working full-time and being a student full-time is a challenge

By Andrea Jennemann

When the end of my first year of college ended, and everyone was moving out of the dorms and beginning to sign leases for apartments, my father told me I would be solely responsible for my living costs from that point on. Because of a change in roommates, I was late in signing my lease. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Hard financial choices lead to grit and determination in college

By Crystal Cox

In my first two years at college, I’ve had to make a decision that my high school self could not have imagined: go to class or be able to afford to eat. This is the reality that I, and many students who come from low-income families, face. Having to work 40 hours a week at an entry-level service job is difficult, but having to do so while being a full-time college student is beyond exhausting. Since being introduced to the economic concept of opportunity cost, I’ve thought a lot about how school and work are opposing variables in my life. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Finding a student job with medical limitations

By Joseph Bartholomew

Going into college, I had never had a job. In high school, during the summer going into my sophomore year, I was diagnosed with cancer, at the age of 15. This prevented me from living the normal life of a high schooler as I was pulled from my classes and began treatment. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Are Credit Cards Necessary for Students?

By Tyler Head

Will that be cash or credit? These days this question almost seems redundant. Our society is continuously advancing its technology and the thought of paying for things with physical dollar bills feels slightly antiquated to many students. According to a 2016 study done by Sallie Mae, a federally-back lending institution, 56 percent of college students have credit cards. However, the responsibility that comes with having credit cards isn’t for everyone and managing that responsibility raises the question among some of whether they should have credit cards or not. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: What You Should Know Before Signing a Rental Lease

By Caroline Friedman

A recent ranking conducted by the financial technology company SmartAsset found that seven of the top ten most transient cities in the country are college towns. In a city like Athens, Georgia, home to the University of Georgia and a transitory student population of nearly 38,000, the options for rental housing are seemingly endless. Although the search process is a relatively easy one for students here, it’s what follows that causes much consternation and difficulty. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Student Saves Money by Renting Textbooks

By Lauren Diaz

As a finance student at the University of Georgia, Nathan Moon is required to purchase textbooks that retail upwards of $120. Rather than purchasing them, however, Moon rents them through rental sites that help students save as much as 90 percent of the publisher’s price. “If I were to buy all of my books every semester, it would be close to $500,” Moon said. “If I rent them, I can stay within my budget and don’t have to spend a large portion of my money.” Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Overcoming Unexpected Medical Expenses

By Mauli Desai

A visit to the doctor’s office is often met with the question: “On a scale of one to 10 rate your pain.” Rajan Bedi’s response of nine out of 10 on the pain scale was the beginning of a yearlong ordeal. In 2018, while on his way to The Reserve apartment complex to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in The Super Bowl, Bedi, was hit on the driver side by a speeder who blew past a yield sign at an intersection on the east side of Athens, Georgia. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: What to Expect Financially When Studying Abroad

By Steve Conyers

Studying abroad offers a unique experience to students who gain new perspectives by visiting other countries. Broadening one’s world view through hands-on teaching in an unfamiliar culture, gaining valuable networking connections and increasing communication skills in an increasingly demanding global job market are just a few of the advantages students obtain when they study abroad. However, only 10 percent of undergraduate students in the U.S. will study abroad before they graduate, according to the Institute of International Education. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: The Scholarship Strain

By Eleanor Cash

With the end of spring semester approaching, college seniors across the country are looking forward to wearing their caps and gowns and receiving their diplomas.  Soon after flipping their tassels, however, many of these new graduates will be forced to confront a growing national problem: repaying their student loan debt. Student loans place only second to mortgage debt in the consumer debt category. In 2018, 69 percent of students took out loans, and graduated with an average debt of $29,800. To paint a broader picture, Americans owe over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: College Budgeting: Taking it One Step at a Time

By Ellie Bramel

Kelsey Snelgrove was in the sixth grade when the Great Recession happened. The crash hit close to home, and she watched her parents lose the business they had worked to build. “My dad literally came to me one day and was like, okay, so we have a bag of money. It says for groceries. That’s it. We have no other money,” Snelgrove recalled. She said the experience gave her a deeper understanding of money as she learned how to stretch her family’s dollar. Now a junior at the University of Georgia, she uses that understanding to budget her paychecks, account for weekly expenses and adopt long-term savings goals. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Students Turn to Mobile Apps for Financial Tools

By Jessica Wurst

Mobile finance applications can offer a simple way for students to track personal finances, but they also can make it too easy to put money into the stock market without proper knowledge. App such as Mint and Acorns aid students with financial management by tracking spending and account balances. Similar apps providedby banks such as SunTrust and Wells Fargo are also attractive to students due to their simplicity and brand recognition. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Is the Master’s Degree the New Bachelor’s?

By Rebecca Wright

A bachelor’s degree may soon not be enough to win in a competitive job market. With increasing access to college education, students in the United States are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Some choose to pursue multiple internships or dual majors, but more often students now are taking the GRE exam with hopes of qualifying for graduate school. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: College Students and Health Insurance

By Jennifer Williams

As college students graduate and enter the job market, they face a critical question: How will they pay for health insurance? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) plays a significant role in young adults’ coverage decisions, as it allows them to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26. This is an advantage for many students who are worried about affording health care on their own as they start their careers and begin paying off student loans. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: The Worth of an Unpaid Internship

By Sidhartha Wakade

Employers today expect job-seekers — including soon-to-be or recent college graduates — to have some level of practical experience in their chosen fields. For many college students, this experience comes from part-time jobs, internships or work-study programs. Not all of these options provide pay, however. For Sarah Lanier, a 20-year-old junior public relations major at the University of Georgia, an unpaid internship has been part of her course of study. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Students and Their Loans

By Jenny Vo

When Russell Cochran left Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, he also left behind a football scholarship worth about $22,000 a year. Cochran said he no longer wanted to play football and transferred to the University of Georgia to pursue a degree in Housing Management and Policy. “I was a sports management major there and I decided I wanted to do real estate and they didn’t have it, so I transferred,” he said, noting that it costs more to go to UGA. “But I believe it’s worth it.” Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: A Student’s Guide to Financial Understanding

By Ashley Scott

When Luke Morgan came to The University of Georgia to start his freshman year of college, he understood only as much about personal finance as he needed to get by. “It either comes from being raised in a family that teaches you, or doing it and learning, and the latter is probably the more effective way of doing anything,” he said. By learning as he went along, Morgan acquired the skills he needed to be near self-sufficient by his graduation in December 2018. He began with help from his parents, but gradually transitioned into paying for his expenses on his own. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Why Students Should Practice Budgeting While in College

By Charlotte Norsworthy

Before Alexis Manson decides to buy a concert ticket or go out to dinner with a friend, she pulls out her laptop to check her digital budget. “It’s like a game, she said. “It’s honestly kind of fun.” Manson is a junior international affairs major at the University of Georgia from Smithfield, Virginia, and while she doesn’t need to be financially independent from her parents, she likes to practice ways to curtail wasteful spending. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Students and Credit Scores

By Spencer McGuire

Are credit scores important to college students? Short answer: yes. But that’s not the whole story. Behind every credit score is a more detailed set of three credit reports, according to The University of Georgia’s Mary Carlson, a professor in the Financial Planning Master’s program. TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian are the three companies that pull a person’s financial history, and from that information, create a report about what kind of spender a person is along with a repayment history. If someone pays off the credit card debt consistently, or has a lot of unpaid debt, these companies will know about it. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Federal Work-Study Offers Flexible Job Opportunities for Students

By Kelly Mayes

Having a part-time job in college can be a balancing act for many students, but some may find the flexibility they need if they qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program. This program, offered by about 3,400 colleges in the U.S., awards grants for undergraduate and graduate students who qualify to gain valuable work experience pertaining to their career. Peyton Etheridge, a first-year intended public relations student at the University of Georgia, has worked in the front office of the Odum School of Ecology this year. The Federal Work-Study program has been a good option for her. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Car Repair Research Can Help Students Avoid Being Overcharged

By Savannah Martin

College is the time when many young adults find themselves facing huge financial responsibilities for the first time. But, sometimes it can be routine things such as car repair that cause the most concern. Emilie Gille, a senior at the University of Georgia, said she has been warned about general sexism toward women when it comes to car repairs and she is concerned about being ripped off. “I’m always very wary,” said Gille. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: How Students Can Overcome the Intimidation of Tax Filing

By Grace Langella

Taxes can be intimidating, especially for students. Nique Roth, a University of Georgia marketing major, said taxes make her nervous because she knows so little. “If there was an outlet to learn about them, I wouldn’t be scared,” said Roth, “but because it’s kind of a free for all, I’m definitely intimidated by the idea of filing them myself.” According to Lance Palmer, a professor of Family Planning and Consumer Economics, many students have a skewed view of taxes because of the media. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Understanding Student Loan Repayment Options

By Zach Jones

Student debt in the United States has reached a staggering $1.5 trillion, but many students know very little about their own loans and how they factor into that giant number. When college students defer to their parents on loan decisions, they typically rely on their parents to do the research and pick the type of loan. This decision will ultimately affect the types of repayment options available once the students graduate. “I was kept in the dark really. My parents took care of picking what type of loan I got, and I was never aware that the type of loan could affect my repayment options,” said Michael Ackerman, a student at The University of North Georgia. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Cheap Peace of Mind: College Students and the Need for Renters Insurance

By Collin Huguley

College students living away from home for the first time often feel the need for more education on how to protect their living spaces and belongings from potential disaster. For these students, renters insurance is a new concept. “At this point in our lives, we haven’t really experienced much in the realm of home owning,” said 22-year-old University of Georgia student Amanda Gruner. “It’s not like a staple that we’re told about; that we need renters insurance. We’re taught that we need bedding, but not that we need insurance.” Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Navigating Life as a Student Entrepreneur

By Michael Hebert

Senior marketing major Kaitlin Lutz always wanted to be an entrepreneur. She started a dog walking business when she was younger, making flyers with her face, a picture of a dog and a little dog bone to promote her service around the neighborhood.“I’ve always had some sort of itch for entrepreneurship as long as I can remember,” Lutz said. As a student at the University of Georgia, Lutz sought out the training offered through the UGA Idea Accelerator, an eight-week program where students are trained in how to develop a business. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Lessons Learned About Life, Finances and Family

By Noelle Schon

When it comes to my personal experience with money, I am very lucky to have had parents who opened a college fund for me early on.  My parents are both in the business and finance field. My mother was a regional vice president for Bank of America before taking time off to raise me and my siblings. She is very helpful when it comes to explaining the financial world to me, which really piqued my interest in the field as I grew up. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: The Unexpected Costs of International Travel

By Nicole Hernandez

Peru was the trip of a lifetime. One week, five planes, two trains, six boats, two ATVs, and four zip lines all came together to create one amazing experience. Taking off from LAX in May of 2017 was one of the most exciting days of my life, and landing in Cusco at five in the morning the next day was even better. But getting to the point of stepping into a foreign country for the first time was a long, arduous process that revolved around – you guessed it – finances. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: Lessons From My Parents: Spending with a Purpose

By Andres Guerra Luz

As my family and I packed up the last of the belongings from my childhood home, a flurry of different feelings rushed over me. For as long as I could remember, home was an old-timey, multi-story building in an idyllic neighborhood in Chicago. But as my family adapted to some bigchanges, the house was becoming too large an expense. A part of me felt sad to leave the house behind, another part of me felt relieved that we were down-sizing to a more affordable place and yet another part of me was excited to live somewhere new. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: The Blue and Red Fibers of Financial Happiness and Despair

By Mara Friedman

Money is a funny thing. It is the only thing (other than your parents) that can be your best friend or a great nightmare. The blue and red fibers woven between its cotton may hold both happiness and despair. My life has been that blue fiber. I have been tangled up inside due to the money-making process. My life made a complete 360-degree turn in my teenage years when I found out that my immediate family was rich. It didn’t turn around the way you may think it would have, however. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: The Knowledge We Needed

By Taylor Freds

When I moved to Arizona for college, I quickly realized that high school had left me completely unprepared for the real world. The school’s need to be the best at standardized tests has left students without the actual knowledge they need when they walk out the door. Taxes, financial aid, savings, budgeting, debt (etc.) are all words that I knew the meaning of but had no real grasp on. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: When It Comes to Finances, Listen to Your Mother

By Emily M. Dean

I thought I knew everything when I was 19. That’s cliche, but it’s also true. I remember calling my mom with the master plan for my life. I was to move to Ithaca, New York, and take a job teaching dance. At this point in time my mother’s advice sounded a lot like an outdated and broken record to me. I remember telling her that the apartment I’d found would be $700 a month plus utilities. I remember her asking me if it was a nice apartment. I remember saying yes to spite her. Read more…

College Connect Spring 2019: How I Used Airbnb to Continue My Education

By Madeline Ackley

In 2017, I found myself in a precarious financial situation, like so many 20-something college students do. I had left home and was living with two roommates in an apartment in downtown Phoenix so I could be close to campus. One consequence of living in a college town, however, is that things are more expensive. A lot more expensive in some cases. Each month the expenses piled higher and higher and I was barely squeezing by with my minuscule paycheck working part time as a doggy daycare attendant. So, I did what any cash-strapped millennial in 2017 would do: I illegally sublet my room to strangers on Airbnb. Read more…

Fall 2018

College Connect Fall 2018: It’s Confusing – the Multicultural Issue of Tipping

By Yutong Yuan

Tip, or not tip? As a student from a country where giving a gratuity is not part of the social etiquette, I’m always confused by when, where and how much I should tip. When eating out with friends at a restaurant, I can always ask for advice on how much I should leave as a tip. However, things become trickier when I’m alone, facing an iPad with tipping options ranging from 15% to 25% for a coffee or a lunch buffet. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Why Ditching Your Car is the Right Choice, and Easier than You Think

By Kristoffer Tigue

Six years ago, my car got towed for being parked four inches — rather than five — from someone’s driveway. In Minneapolis, where I grew up, that can run you a hefty fine of about $150 for the first day. The problem was that, as an undergrad at the time living in a college town, I didn’t check up on my car for a week. My bill? More than $500, and not to mention another towing charge because the engine wouldn’t start. I told them to keep it. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Understanding the Difference in Student Loans

By Keegan Pope

For most kids, when you’re 17 or 18 years old, debt is a concept that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you have a car, it’s likely that your parents own it and are least helping to make payments on it. Even if you don’t live at home, you’re almost certainly paying month-to-month rent somewhere. So when the idea of student loans to pay for college comes up, terms like principal and interest or subsidized and unsubsidized loans might as well be a foreign language you never took in high school. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Music May Seem Free, But It Bites our Budgets

By Xinyu Wei

The first day I came to MU, I was overwhelmed by flyers of welcome parties from tons of clubs and organizations. “Free drink. Free pizza. Free music.” I got hooked by the last part. For a long time, I took it for granted that I don’t have to pay for music. I remember all those tapes and CDs in my family home. All I had to do was put them in the players.  hen it’s the time of MP3 and MP4, but they quickly got replaced by phones and personal computers. I still had no concept of paying for music, since the Internet gave me everything without asking for a single dime. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Roomies and Even Dining Can have Financial Pitfalls

By Sydney Olsen

College is a fun time in everyone’s life. You have true freedom for the first time in your ever. Don’t want to show up for class? That’s up to you. Want to stay up until 2 a.m. every night? Do it. However, with all of this new-found freedom comes a lot of responsibilities. Responsibilities can be fun too as you start to feel like an adult, but sometimes it is difficult to anticipate everything you need to think about when planning for these. I learned this when deciding who to have as my roommate. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Having a Pet in College: Worth the price?

By Nikki Ogle

We have all been there. You bombed an exam and feel like the worst college student in history. You spent your morning in a giant lecture hall full of unfamiliar faces, feeling all alone. You wonder if you are really cut out for this thing called college. Imagine, your whole day changes when you walk in the door of your apartment or duplex. A wagging tail and sloppy kisses or face rubs and the sound of purring can turn it all around. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Stretching Your Dollar in America’s Most Expensive Cities: A Guide to Financing Internships

By Daniel Noonan

Old academic halls, crammed libraries on finals week, and Frisbee on the quad are staples of American college life and are often revered as essentials to the college experience. Colleges and universities across America are now adding a fourth aspect to that list that seems to make or break a lot of students overall worthwhile of a traditional four-year degree. That is the undergrad internship. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: My Journey into Finding My First Credit Card

By Caitlin McCarthy

Books, late night pizza and beer, spring break, and the list goes on. All of these being college student “necessities” for a studious and fun few years. The one setback of these is how expensive it can all be. The possible answer to being able to afford these? A credit card. Unlike most college students, I have not yet gotten my first credit card. It might be out of fear that I will rack up too may expenditures and not be able to pay it all off. However, it’s a rite of passage into the beginning of being more financially mature and building a credit score, so I can make big purchases once I graduate. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: The Mizzou Rideshare Group

By Maggie Austin

When I started my college search during junior year of high school, I wanted to pick a university far from home. It was a classic mistake made by a moody, self-centered teenage girl. I actually thought my parents would drive from Chicago every weekend to come see me, so I looked at Syracuse, the University of Minnesota and, of course, the University of Missouri, which was the closest to my home in Chicago. But it still was a seven-hour drive. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: How to Survive a Summer in NYC on an Intern’s Salary

By Lexi Churchill

I have always loved New York from afar. For two years in a row I set my sights on working in the Big Apple, applying to as many journalism internships there as possible. When I finally received a call from the financial news network CNBC, I almost couldn’t believe my goals were coming true. If this sounds familiar at all, you’ve probably been dreaming of the big city without thinking through the big costs. This cost of living calculator from Bankrate estimates the cost of living in NYC compared to my college town, Columbia, Missouri, is about 136% higher overall. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Incremental Costs Eat Away at Your Pocketbooks

By Noah Higgins-Dunn

A vivid piece of financial advice from Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary slips into my mind every time I’m about to enter Starbucks: “Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never, never, never do I do that,” he said in a CNBC interview. “That is such a waste of money for something that costs 20 cents.” During those late nights at the library, cramming for an exam but struggling to stay awake, I’ll frequently sneak off for a tall Pike’s Place pleasure. I justify the $2.50 expenditure because, in my mind, the small cost is worth the reward. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: The Vaping Habit – Does It Cost More or Less than Cigarettes?

By Brendan Crowley

Parents, schools and the federal government have been wringing their hands over the nicotine-delivery sensation that’s sweeping the nation: the JUUL. JUUL puffers may look like they’re sucking on a flash drive, but they’re getting a nicotine hit rivaled only by smoking tobacco. Some turn to the JUUL to help kick their smoking habit. That’s especially common here in Missouri, where tobacco is part of the culture and isn’t subject to the steep taxes found in other states. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Students with Debt Struggle with Transition to Grad School

By Tucker Pennington

Imagine driving six hours to class and back each week to save $425 on rent. That is exactly what Jori Moore, a 24-year-old master’s student in school counseling at University of Georgia, does to help make grad school affordable. For the Lilburn, Georgia, student, living at home is one of the many financial decisions she has made in pursuit of her graduate degree, and every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday she drives an hour to reach campus. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Financial Challenge: A Mother Helps her Student with Down Syndrome Succeed

By Tamara Khader

Kathryn Junod, a mother of a University of Georgia student with Down syndrome, has financial challenges quite different than most parents who send their child to the state’s flagship university. Her primary challenge is the lack of funding for the few college programs available for students with disabilities. Her 23-year-old son, Jordan Huffman, is enrolled in the Destination Dawgs program at the University of Georgia which provides academic, experiential, social and independent living opportunities for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Pay to Play: A College Athlete without Scholarships

By Joseph Storelli

For most students at the University of Georgia the phrase “student-athlete” brings to mind players from high profile sports such as football or basketball. They imagine those on scholarships often described as being on a “full ride.” Rarely, if ever, would someone like Emily Barber come to mind. Barber, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, is a goalie on the UGA club ice hockey team. She does not receive the benefits that come with being a scholarship athlete. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Coping with Student Loan Debt as Graduation Approaches

By Tony Walsh

Noah Collins almost passed on the opportunity to earn a college degree. Collins said he underperformed in high school because he was not aware of the options to make higher education affordable. “I had this pessimistic view that I wouldn’t be able to afford it anyways,” he said. “I just did the bare minimum.” Collins eventually discovered ways to afford an education through financial aid, including student loans. “I found out there was a way to pay for it,” he said. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: The Art of Balancing School and Entrepreneurship

By Rachel Grace

For Yasmin Rahimi, working for someone else has never been an option. Rahimi started her first business at 15-years-old—a nonprofit organization called Couture for Charity—and launched her second one just a few weeks ago. However, Rahimi found that her entrepreneurial spirit often clashes with her responsibilities as a student. “My parents always tell me that school comes first, but sometimes it’s hard to put that into practice,” said Rahimi. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Unpaid Internships Pose Financial Questions for Students

By Peter Prybylski

Every year students seek internships, work studies or other professional arrangements with a simple goal: to gain valuable work experience in their fields. However, there is often a bigger question than time, place and duties hanging over the job-seekers’ heads: How much money is in it? As U.S. student debt grows past the $1.6 trillion mark, students who are looking for summer work often grapple with the choice between a standard summer job and unpaid work in their field. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018:  I’ve Got a Business Idea: What Now?

By Maycee Dukes

Haart Graham, a sophomore English and Film Studies student at the University of Georgia, said she loved writing, clothes and art, and wanted to turn these hobbies into something bigger. Just like that, HaartLine Fashion was born. “It’s like I have a million ideas and I want to do all of them, but I’m only one person and I only have so many hours in a day,” she said. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Paying to be a Student Fan

By Mary Ray

Rhett Parr was a notable exception to the student football ticket chaos this year at the University of Georgia. The fourth -year biology major was granted a full season ticket package to the Bulldogs’ seven home games as well as a ticket to all five away games. Because of the team’s popularity following last season’s near-miss in the national championship game, demand for student tickets was high this season. Many students who had applied for football tickets discovered they had only received half-season packages for home games. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Application Fees – The Underestimated Barrier to Graduate School

By Madison Gable

Students applying for doctoral programs will find many that offer full funding, which can include tuition, stipends for living expenses and even healthcare coverage. But first students must get accepted, and for some the cost of application fees can be a real barrier. Allie Ibarra is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English, religion and philosophy. She is also a hopeful doctoral student who is expecting to take $2,000 out of her savings to cover the costs of applying to programs in Chicano literature. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: University Student Finds Long-Term Solutions in Part-Time Work

By Lawson Powers

It’s common for undergraduate students to find part-time jobs to help support the financial burden of school.  It is far more uncommon, however, for students to find work that also provides professional experience in their field of study. Josh Montag, a computer science undergraduate student at the University of Georgia has found just that through his involvement in the Virtual Experiences Lab (VEL). Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Growing a Photo Business as a Student

By Keller Austin

Most students at the University of Georgia have a goal to graduate and get a job. But junior Luke D’Agostino is already working as a photographer. The public relations major takes photos for upcoming graduates and local concerts, and recently was asked to take wedding engagement photos. D’Agostino gets most of his business from graduation photos because of his location in a college town, but said he enjoys the challenge of other types of shoots. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: When Mistakes Happen with Financial Aid

By Julie Fields

Sidney Mulkey was preparing to enter her junior year at the University of Georgia when she was informed about a problem with her financial aid. She traced the problem to an error in her Federal Application for Free Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA, and discovered the problem was likely due to an error on a tax return. She tried to contact the IRS, but soon realized the issue would take time to resolve. Meanwhile, she had to come up with $3,000 a week before school started. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Alumni Network Provides Financial Support for Club Rugby

By Jed May

Playing rugby at a university that doesn’t offer it as a varsity sport can be an expensive proposition. Teams organized by a school’s recreation department are often called club sports and their players don’t receive scholarships. Instead, they pay dues to join the team, and are also responsible for paying for everything from hotel stays on road trips to their jerseys and game balls. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: “Moral Hazard” Causes Doctors to Over-Provide Health Care

By Jeanne Davis

Emma noticed a swollen lymph node on the left side of her neck in the fall of last year. The public health student at a major southern university knew that a swollen lymph node usually appeared when a person had a sore throat or a cold so she thought that she could wait it out. When it hadn’t gone away by January, she visited a nurse practitioner at her school’s health clinic who referred her to an ear, nose and throat doctor. “They thought that it was mono,” said Emma, whose last name was withheld for privacy reasons. “I did a bunch of tests for mono… but I knew that I didn’t have mono.” Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: The Trouble with Graduating from College

By Henley Tullos

Students looking forward to graduation from college often face the uncertainty of taking over responsibility for their expenses and student loan debt from their parents. Chris Pope, senior lecturer in finance at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, said students can prepare to take over the expenses that were covered by parents during a student’s undergraduate years. “The best thing to do is make a budget when you first get your job,” Pope said. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018:  Paying the Bills with a “Side Hustle”

By Caitlyn Richtman

M Anteau has a passion for making art but doesn’t make enough money for it to be a sustainable income. That’s why artists like Anteau develop a “side hustle.” “The side hustle is what pays the bills,” Anteau said. Anteau is a 21-year-old University of Georgia student from Atlanta majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in sequential art and writing. Anteau (who uses they/their/them pronouns) said they have always been passionate about art, but didn’t pursue an art major until failing chemistry early in college. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Smartphone Apps Encourage College Students to Invest

By Brittney Butler

It is rare to find students with enough money saved in the case of an emergency, according to a personal advisor at a large regional bank. “You have a friend who always invites you to go get dinner and then complains that they only have $2 the next day,” said Christopher Ray, a SunTrust Bank personal finance advisor. Ray said most students should aim for having anywhere from three to six months of their monthly income put aside in a savings account in case something happens with their living situation, car or health. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: How Students Can Budget for Travel Experiences

By Ben Richmond

Traveling can benefit college students by providing life-enriching experiences. However, as one student discovered this summer, funding and budgeting for such an adventure isn’t easy. “I went into the summer knowing that I was going to be spending a lot of that money, but I didn’t expect to spend all of it,” said Emma Mathews, a 20-year-old junior from Atlanta majoring in accounting and theatre at the University of Georgia. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Saving to See the World

By Annie Campbell

University of Georgia junior Maggie Wigton said a Maymester in Bali was a trip she couldn’t pass up. Double majoring in anthropology and human geography, Wigton was eager to learn more about an entirely different language, population and culture from her own. However, money was a significant hurdle. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Paying for the Dream

By Andrew Keith

Ancel Briley maxed out four credit cards, accumulating $12,000 in credit card debt between his sophomore and junior year of college. He was chasing his dreams. What most people would’ve rationalized as poor fiscal responsibility, Briley saw as an opportunity to chase his passion of being an entrepreneur. “Everyone basically told me no, don’t do it. Don’t start your business using credit cards, but for me it was worth the risk. I had to make minimum payments on the cards for a long time. It took me probably two years to pay them off,” he said. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Education: Getting from Ambition to Accomplishments

By Amethyst Clifton

Grace Beasley was preparing for college expenses well before her first semester began. “I am always looking towards the future,” said Beasley, a student at the University of Georgia majoring in biological sciences. Beasley maintained a 4.0 grade point average while completing high school, but she said she worked during the summer to raise money for the extra things she knew she would need in college. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: I Hope You Can Learn from My Story

By Alexandria Montoya

I have always wanted to attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. When I was as senior in high school and first deciding where to go to college I never thought it would be an option because of the cost of tuition at ASU. I’m from New Mexico and out of state tuition was way too much for my middle-class family to afford. It wasn’t until the day that I got a letter in the mail stating that they were going to give me a $50,000 scholarship that I thought it was a possibility for me. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: I Spent All My Bitcoin On Cookies

By Yael Grauer

About three years ago, I caught wind of an unconventional bake sale. The Cybertwee bake sale originated as a Kickstarter campaign. For 24 hours, a site on the dark web (also known as the deep web) allowed users to buy rosewater cardamom cookies using cryptocurrency. The project’s goal was two-fold. First, it would show that something cute and innocent can take place on the deep web, even though it’s notorious for nefarious uses. Second, it would teach people how to use the Tor browser and cryptocurrency. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Building a Sense of Security

By Tavia Matteson

Being a college student has presented me with many vigorous challenges. I have had to find a balance between juggling my education and working a part time job. However, the biggest lesson I have had to learn was how to manage my money. During my junior year of college, I made the decision to get my own apartment and this financially was a shock. To go from paying very minimal bills living in my parents’ home to paying over a thousand dollars a month just to live was a huge game changer in my daily life. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Always Keep Money Set Aside for Emergencies

By Rebecca Spiess

My very first experiences managing my own money as a teenager were surprisingly successful. I started working at 15, after my parents urged me to start a savings account. The job was in the kitchen of a nursing home where I’d been volunteering for years. I was serving seniors with severe dementia. It was a hard job, I didn’t get paid much and the hours were grueling because we were chronically understaffed. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Money is a Big Factor in Creating Who You Are

By Mythili Gubbi

It is said that money doesn’t define who you are, but I believe that it does. I feel that everything I am today is a culmination of my experiences and environment – and a lot of that is based on my family’s financial status. Whether it’s the neighborhood you grew up in, the school you went to, the places you’ve visited, the people you have met or the things you have seen, every aspect of your life has a role to play, and money is a big factor in creating who you are. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: The Value in Budgeting

By Maddie Johnson

In my just over two years I have spent to college, I have learned the only surefire way to financially successful is to create a budget. I spent two years with sporadic income from working shifts at my serving jobs, as well receiving monthly “grocery allowance” I receive from my parents.  At this time I thought that I was being good with money by never buying things like clothes, makeup, or other things I didn’t necessarily need to survive. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: My Relationship with Money

By Lauren Bukoskey

My relationship with money did not fully take off until my college education did. I always was aware of what money was, but it wasn’t until I lived on my own and now had to really fully budget on my own as well. It was the first time I was financially independent and I had no idea where to start or really what that meant. With everything going on freshman year like new clubs, new friends, new insane text book prices-there are a lot of cost that accumulate quickly. Not to mention student loan debt. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Why College Students Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Credit Cards

By Bryan Pietsch

In the age of Venmo and splitting bills down to the penny, why shouldn’t college students be taking advantage of the perks of having a credit card? Students are penny-pinchers – they’ll split a $10 Uber ride between five people and Venmo each other the difference. They’re suckers for deals, sales and free shirts. So why not get free money? Credit cards (and credit card debt) seem like a popular choice in America, but a study found that only 6 percent of total student spending was on their own credit cards. Read more…

College Connect10n Fall 2018: Saving is Hard

By Barbara Smith

One thing I have learned about money is that saving is hard. Extremely hard. Growing up, my parents were AMAZING with money. They both paid off their student debts in their 20’s, they paid off their credit card bills in full each month, and had been saving for my college fund since the day I was born. I watched them closely and figured when it was time to start being serious about money I would be good to go. And that wasn’t the case. At all. Can you believe? Read more…

College Connect10n Fall 2018: Splitting the Check

By Amy Xiaoshi DePaola

After I landed my first job in undergrad, my mom’s spending money stopped, but it was a small price to pay for living at home for free. The only time when I missed the steady flow of cash was when I went out with friends. Like a lot of millennials, we love to eat out. We dedicate hours, and sometimes weeks, to online research, calculating coupons and local deals. Then, a long stretch of carpooling to the destination and taking painstakingly-aesthetic photos before digging in. As much as I love to cook, there’s nothing like sitting down and not having to worry about doing the dishes. However, there is another worry: the bill. Read more…

College Connect1on Fall 2018: I Thought I Knew How to Handle My Money

By Adrian Marsh

When I moved out of the dorms at Arizona State University at the beginning of summer 2018 and into a house with a couple of roommates, I was officially on my own, financially. That was the first time I had been responsible for not only covering housing but now utilities, Internet, grocery among other expenses. My parents have always supported me and will always support me, as long as they are around, but it was time for me to be pushed even further out of the nest. And I wanted to take that next step. Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Wallet-less

By Abdel Jimenez

In the summer of 2018, I traveled to Santa Monica with a couple of my friends for our annual vacation trip. We spent the Fourth of July weekend near the beach, tucking our toes in the sand with no worries. The second day in California we planned an all day trip at the beach. I remember leaving rushing out of our Airbnb home trying to pack all my necessities in a fanny pack (yes, they still make those). Read more…

College Connect Fall 2018: Balancing Your Needs for Student Housing

By Emma Veidt

Imagine this scenario: you can live near campus, you can have plenty of living space and you can have cheap rent. Now pick two. As I began hunting for my very first apartment last spring, I had little idea of what was considered expensive or affordable. My parents taught me how to save money because I grew up on a budget, but I was privileged in the sense that they never revealed to me the severity of our struggle. Read more…

Spring 2018

College Connect: Clashing Cultures When You Go to College

By Runjie Wang

 “That makes sense to me. That Porsche belongs to a Chinese!” Americans have stereotypes that every Chinese student here is extravagant and squanders away his or her parents’ money. So do many people in China. Even worse, some internet trolls in my country always satirize that we, students studying abroad, are too rich to know where to spend. However, not everyone from China has fancy cars here. Read more…

College Connect: The Rise of Venmo and Electronic Payment Methods

By Logan Krenik

“Hey bro, do you want to go get some ice cream?” “Sorry man — I’m out of cash.” “Dude it’s all good! I’ll cover you and you can just Venmo me later.” “That sounds good! Thanks man!” Not once would anyone a decade ago think that something like this was possible. The concept of paying someone by using a phone app connected to your credit card account would be considered absolutely insane. Read more…

College Connect: Moving out of the dorms and into an apartment

By Troy D’Souza

I personally loved living in the dorms my freshman year of college. I had a good roommate, got along with people on my floor, had a meal plan for the campus dining halls and was only a short walk to most of my classes. But I knew I wanted to move off campus and live in an apartment for the first time. For me one of the most important things was finding good roommates, ones with similar values and personalities. So three guys from my church agreed to live with me and we still do! Read more…

College Connect: Managing credit for the first time

By Troy D’Souza

In high school I was super into business. I took a lot of business classes, was in DECA, a competitive business club and I even almost ended up majoring in business in college. That said, I felt like I always had a pretty good grasp on things. One thing I always wanted was a credit card to start building good credit but my parents were not having it. Finally towards the start of my junior year of college, I finally got a credit card! Read more…

College Connect: Saving for retirement, starting NOW

By Molly Stawinoga

I’m 19 years old, which means I’m about 42.7 years away from retirement (assuming I retire at the U.S. average retirement age of 61.7, according to the United States Office of Personnel Management). Now, in my day-to-day life I cannot even choose what my next-day outfit will be. So why in the world would I start planning for retirement now, when I’m just trying to live a fun college life? Read more…

College Connect: Treating Yourself on a Bare-Bones College Budget

By Jonah Emil

When I came to college, I was so excited to explore everything my campus had to offer. I went downtown to discover the new shops, restaurants, and attractions that added a whole new level of fun to my college experience. However, there is one thing in common with these activities that incoming college kids don’t realize until it’s too late. Money. I was amazed when I glanced at my bank account after first semester. Activities as simple as eating, quickly (and I mean quickly!) diminish your bank account. Read more…

College Connect: Realizing Your Right to a Raise

By Adrianna Talavera

When I was in high school, I worked as a hostess at the same Mexican restaurant for three years. I knew the ins and outs of the restaurant and I could do the job with my eyes closed. With all the experience I acquired there, I was one of few hosts that was capable of keeping the wait short and the hungry customers happy, even during the busiest of Saturday night rushes. However, at the end of my second year, I was still making the same amount of money per hour as the little 16-year-olds who were just starting out: $7.25. Read more…

College Connect: Finances of a First-Generation College Student

By Kayley Allen

Being a first-generation college student is a blessing and a curse. The feeling of being the first person in my family to go to college was, hands down, one of the best accomplishments of my life. Nonetheless, with this feeling of excitement came a dark, looming cloud of uncertainty to what lies ahead. My parents are knowledgeable in many ways, but when it came to questions about college, especially questions about student loans and the FAFSA, they don’t have the answers. Read more…

College Connect: College and Drinking Your Dollars Away

By: Kristina Esdale

When you ask a college student why they are “so poor,” the almost knee-jerk response is to say “food.” But according to, college students spend an average of $900 per year on alcohol; that’s practically double of the average cost of textbooks, around $450. Going away to college comes with a lot of pressures educationally, mentally and especially socially. Drinking is pretty much college culture; you’re always surrounded by people talking about getting drunk, or just drunk people in general. Read more…

College Connect: First savings account. First laptop. First big money lesson.

By Alyson Garcia

Two weeks after I turned 17, I was looking for a job. I realized I was going to need a computer in college and that I only had a year to raise $1,500 which seemed like a lot at the time. All my friends had jobs and paid at least one bill whether it was gas, insurance, or phone. All of them paid something and I paid nothing. After searching for two weeks,I got a call back from Kohl’s department store. Once I started working I wanted to spend my money on everything except bills. Read more…

College Connect: Budgeting and Spending Money in the Age of Venmo

By Betsy Smith

“I forgot my wallet. Can you order my coffee, and I’ll pay you back?” It’s a simple question coming from a trusted friend. You used to say yes and they would pay you back in cash the next time they saw you/had their wallet. Now, everything is different. “Yeah, just venmo me.” Now, they can pull out their phone and pay you the exact amount. I get a notification that says, “Thx for the Dunkin–$2.59.”  Read more…

College Connect: The importance of emergency savings

By Marilyn Primovic

Mice destroyed everything in my storage unit last summer. Instead of moving my belongings to my new apartment, I moved them to a dumpster. I also moved something else: money from my emergency savings account into my checking account to purchase necessary replacements. Ann Woodyard, assistant professor of financial planning at the University of Georgia, encouraged college students to follow my example and build an emergency savings account for scenarios like mine. Read more…

College Connect: To rent or to buy: that is the millennial question

By Kristen Rary

Caroline Wrenn is living her dream. The recent graduate’s husband was drafted by a Major League Baseball team and will finish school in the off season. All of the couple’s plans are falling into place. But they have one big issue: where to live. “My husband is a professional baseball player so we will be moving a lot throughout the year. The players can be traded, promoted, or released, at any time, meaning we could always be moved to another city,” she said. “We didn’t want the financial obligation of a mortgage when we wouldn’t be able to live in the house.” Read more…

College Connect: New tax laws, but no significant changes for students

By Maggie Scruggs

President Donald Trump rolled out a new tax plan early this year making cuts for corporations and some adjustments for individuals. Changes in tax laws can translate into gains or losses due to one’s circumstances, but for students not a lot changed, according to Lance Palmer, professor of financial planning and housing and consumer science at the University of Georgia. When the government has wanted to stimulate the economy historically, individual taxes were cut more than business taxes. Read more…

College Connect: college students and credit scores

By Hallie Smith

Having a good credit score is critical to owning a home, signing a lease and other financial responsibilities of adulthood. However, many college students do not understand how to build credit in a healthy way. Brenda Cude, a professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia, said college students “are way too concerned and too conservative about taking risks.” She said this is especially true when it comes to credit cards. Read more…

College Connect: Overcoming bad spending habits

By Henley Tullos

College is the first time most students have the chance to live away from their parents, which comes with the responsibility of paying bills, buying groceries and budgeting. “I try my best to budget for groceries and utilities.  I don’t make impulsive purchases because my priority is purchasing my needs rather than my wants,” said Abby Feltner, a student at the University of Georgia. Feltner said her parents send a monthly allowance to cover rent, groceries and utilities.  After paying the bills, her budget has little to spare. Read more…

College Connect: College students and their taxes

By Catherine Morrow

A University of Georgia professor said college students can learn important lessons about their financial situation from filing their own taxes. Lance Palmer, a professor in the department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics, said learning those skills as students will make it much easier to understand in the future. “I think it’s a great idea for students to file their own taxes as soon as they can because chances are, whatever state or financial affair they are in today, it’s only going to get more complicated,” said Palmer. Read more…

College Connect: Planning for that future house

By Rebecca Nauth

College students are always trying to find ways to save money. If given an option between buying a new $200 textbook or buying that same book used, water-stained, and a little torn for $50 from Amazon, it’s safe to assume that most college students would gravitate towards the second option. But when it comes to looking for a place to live, college students likely have many questions about how much money is appropriate to save and spend. Read more…

College Connect: The pros and cons of living off campus

By Charlotte Norsworthy

Many college students grapple with the decision to live on or off campus. While there are many factors to consider, for most students, the decision boils down to affordability. At the University of Georgia, most students are required to find a spot on campus to live during their first year, which can vary from single-person dorm rooms, six-person dorm rooms and even two-person apartments. Beyond the first year, however, students are free to decide where they want to live. Read more…

College Connect: Read the fine print: why students should understand their leases

By Charlotte Norsworthy

For most students, college is their first attempts at adulthood. Students must learn how to manage personal finance, maintain class-work-life balance and develop the perfect elevator pitch to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Thus, it is easy to see how signing a rental lease, a legally-binding 12-month contract, can add to the stack of intimidating tasks students come in contact with during their time in college. Read more…

College Connect: Developing a personal budget

By Michaela Patafio

Developing a personal budget serves as a useful way to manage money, allowing for more responsible spending and investing strategies while securing financial freedom for the future. A personal budget opens the door for more financial opportunities. It helps consumers prioritize their spending so that they can ensure funding for the things that are most important. Budgeting also provides the opportunity to reach financial goals, reduce or avoid debt, or meet a specific savings plan. Read more…

College Connect: Long-term goal setting key to student financial success

By Emma Korstanje

“I work a part time job, I make $500 a month and I’m having trouble budgeting,” is a string of phrases commonly heard by Matt Goren, who teaches personal finance at the University of Georgia. For many college students, taming their finances in such a situation may seem of utmost importance. However, Goren said focusing on that immediate situation shouldn’t be a student’s biggest concern. Read more…

College Connect: Students and Financial Stress

By Alec Larson

As the end of the Spring semester nears, many graduating college seniors grow increasingly worried about their finances. “I’m stressed because even though I’ve been saving money my entire life, I’ve spent a lot of it while in college just because it’s hard to work a lot,” said Stephanie Motter, who is graduating from the University of Georgia in May. “You can’t have a full time job because you’re taking classes, and doing internships, and extracurricular stuff.” Read more…

College Connect: Finding Affordable Health Insurance

By Alex Marchante

Nearly three in four college students and recent graduates have challenges finding affordable health insurance, according to a poll published by Agile Health Insurance in 2017. Given that student loan debt in the United States has topped $1.4 trillion and average student debt in 2017 passed $37,000, according to, health insurance may be one of the last things on college students’ minds when it comes to their budgets. Read more…

College Connect: Credit cards explained from a student’s perspective

By Danny McArthur

When University of Georgia student Kalah Mingo applied for her first credit card in 2016, she thought it was a straightforward offer. Mingo, a fourth-year journalism major from LaGrange, Georgia, was enticed by the student offer from Bank of America: zero interest for the first year. “I felt like it was a perfect time to start working on my credit score, so I said ‘yes’ and applied for it, and they approved me for it,” Mingo said. Read more…

College Connect: Factors to consider when renting

By Emmy Medders

Students living in Athens are only here for a short time. As a result, most of them participant in the local real estate market as renters instead of buyers. For the past five years, apartment complexes have popped up throughout the community, especially downtown. With so many options for students, what is the most important element to look for in a home away from home? “That’s easy. Location, location, location,” said Kathryn Kostovetsky, a 21-year-old fourth-year journalism major at the University of Georgia. Read more…

College Connect: Income Levels Directly Impact the Health of Americans

By Alyssa Alves

Americans with higher incomes are healthier because of their ability to afford better health insurance plans, medications and diagnostic tests. “There are a lot of problems in the American healthcare system. Compared to other countries, we are purchasing the same amount and quality of healthcare but paying much more,” said Patryk Babiarz, a professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. Read more…

College Connect: Renters insurance may not cover theft

By Ashlyn Davis

Hayley Ahuja recently called her insurance company to learn if her renter’s policy would replace stolen property. In recent weeks, Ahuja, a 21-year-old fashion merchandising major at the University of Georgia, noticed some of her items in the common area of her apartment were missing. They turned up again after three or four days, so she feared a roommate was taking these things and worried that something of more value would be taken and not returned. Read more…

College Connect: Digital waves in personal finance

By Sam Durham

Financial apps have begun to cement their place in the modern consumer market. Out of the $80 trillion in the world economy today, only $5 trillion is made of up physical currency, according to Business Insider. As global finances become more ingrained in technology, so do our personal finances. Read more…

College Connect: College Students and Credit Cards

By Charlie Ferrelle

Few college students use credit cards to pay for their expenses, but according to the experts they should. College students in 2015 used debit or check cards for 42 percent of their purchases, cash for 40 percent, and credit cards for only 6 percent, according to These statistics, which were gathered in spring 2015 by Student Monitor Financial Services, have increasingly become the norm, and Brenda Cude, an expert in credit cards, explained a few reasons why. Read more…

College Connect: Student loans increasing; assistance available

By Amber Haywood

The numbers are in. The outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. is $1.4 trillion held by about 44 million individuals, according to Katie Lobosco of CNNMoney. The proportion of people going to college is increasing, but the cost of educating them is increasing at a faster rate than inflation. Read more…

College Connect: Check Your Balance, Kids

By MacKinley Lutes-Adlhoch

“- $347,” read my checking account balance on the screen of my phone, glaring in the Phoenix sun. I stopped in my tracks walking home from work. “What’s wrong?” my friend asked. “I think something is wrong with my bank account. It’s fine, I’ll figure it out,” I said. When I got back to my dorm room, frazzled and in disbelief, I called my bank to see what the mistake could be. I certainly could not have overdrawn my account by that much. Five minutes on the phone answered my questions: It was not a mistake, I had messed up. Read more…

College Connect: Blackjack Tables Won’t Save Your Wallet, but Proper Planning Might

By Andrew Wei

Recently some friends and I turned 21, and we decided a Las Vegas trip was appropriate. Walking into the idea, I had quite a bit of money, but leaving the Las Vegas Strip I had 68 cents and the lesson of the importance of understanding inflated local pricing. Without quite thinking the whole plan through, we all agreed to go, booked the hotel, and within a few hours were in the car well on our way down. I knew Vegas was a little more expensive but nothing would prepare me for what I would find. Read more…

College Connect: The Moment I Viewed Orange Juice as a Luxurious Item

By SuElen Rivera

I managed to remain debt free until my junior year of college and because I chose to be spontaneous and study abroad I am now planning out how I will pay off my student debt after graduation. No longer unsure of how I feel joining all of the other students and parents paying off university tuition, there’s only a couple things I’d redo along my journey. Read more…

College Connect: A Tale as Old as Time: Where Does Your Paycheck Go?

By Veronica Graff

Laundry detergent: $11.93, fabric softener: $9.94, dryer sheets: $8.94, stain remover: $9.99, total: $40.80. Karen from Target looks up—slightly irritated that it’s 11:34 p.m. and she’s still on the clock—and asks if it’ll be credit or debit — can I pay in smiles I think to myself, maybe that will brighten her day. Read more…

College Connect: Scholarship Searching is Serious Stuff

By Kimberly Rapanut

Throughout my entire life, education was always stressed as a priority. When high school graduation came and flew by within the blink of an eye, I didn’t hesitate or second guess my decision to apply to college. Pursuing higher education and a college degree was something I felt my whole life, especially my academic one, had led up to. For me, it was simply just the next step. Read more…

College Connect: When Finances are the Dinner Conversation

By Stephanie Morse

I grew up in a family full of accountants. My parents both majored in accounting in college and most of my grandparents were also accountants. Therefore, money lessons were never in short supply as I was growing up. Words and phrases like “withholding,” “depreciation” and “F.I.C.A limit” often dominated dinner conversation after my sister and I talked about our school day. Read more…

College Connect: The First Rime I filed My Taxes

By Abdel Jimenez

Taxes are a language only a few speak. Like French, some words have one consonant and with others the ending of a word isn’t pronounced. But when it comes together it sounds beautifully.  In the same way learning how to talk taxes can make you astute by conducting a strategic tax plan. Read more…

College Connect: Practicing Patience

By Hailey Mensik

Since the day I turned 16, I’ve had a job. My first job was at a children’s clothing store and followed by many others at different restaurants. It’s been so interesting to me to see these different kinds of retail and restaurant industries through the lens of an employee, and the varying wages and benefits I’ve been offered. Read more…

College Connect: That Ancient Relic Called Cash and the Power of Budgeting

By Derek Hall

Physically handling cash is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Even if you haven’t bought in to the idea of using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, chances are your money is managed digitally from beginning to end. I opened my personal checking account online. The income my employer pays me is automatically deposited into that checking account. When I want to spend that income, I use a little plastic card that’s far too easy to slip in and out of my pocket. Read more…

College Connect: College Connect: Being Money Savvy and Balancing Family Demands as a First-Generation Student

By Bo Tefu

The expression “money doesn’t grow on trees” is a cliché. However, it is often overlooked by the people who use the expression the most. My family is the perfect example. Growing up I never had the luxury of saving money to buy myself a cute present. Saving money meant I had to make ends meet on my own by finding a way to be self-sufficient. Read more…

College Connect: On Finding Fulfillment and a Living Wage

By Arren Kimbel-Sannit

I come from a family of hardworking people who have done well in professions that don’t typically take home big paychecks. They are English professors, artists, anthropologists and psychologists. My family runs the gambit of liberal art vocations that have so precipitously fallen out of favor as science, technology, engineering and math have become academic defaults — and for good reason, as they provide job security, room for progression and skills applicable to real-world problems. Read more…

Finesse Your Way through College Finances

By Sabine Galvis

My experience with college finances has been a story of stress and worry. I often find myself wondering how I can stretch out each dollar to cover the various costs of attending school while having time to maintain my grades and extracurricular involvement. Unlike many of my peers, I cannot rely on my parents to take care of my expenses. Read more…

Fall 2017

Navigating Housing and Renting Issues as a College Student

By Morgan Brown

Amari Tillman is a 19-year-old second-year undergraduate at the University of Georgia. Midway through her sophomore year, the safe path she had travelled by living on campus split in front of her. Should she finally leave the campus and dive into apartment life, or should she continue enjoying the benefits of living and studying in the same place? Read more…

Financial Planning and Millennials

By Steffenie Burns

Millennials have been criticized for being egocentric, easily distracted, unmotivated to work and frivolous with their finances. While some in the older generations may still believe such negative stereotypes about millennials, research has indicated otherwise about their financial habits. Read more…

College Students Should Start Building Credit Sooner Rather than Later

By Zachary Hansen

Going off to college creates a lot of new freedoms for the average student. With this increased independence also come extra responsibilities that weren’t present before. Among these, managing debt can be one of the most challenging. While the 2009 CARD Act banned issuing credit cards to anyone under 21, many students still end up with some form of credit card debt before graduation. According to a 2016 Experian study, about 30 percent of grads-to-be had an average balance of $2,573 in credit card debt. Read more…

Credit Cards: What Students Should Know

By Becky Burgess

Credit cards can be intimidating for students, especially since many of us don’t know how to manage and maintain them. For senior Sociology major Noga Baruch at the University of Georgia, a credit card was the first step for establishing credit before graduating college. But she said spending and paying back the money can prove difficult. Read more…

Student loans: Burden or Investment in the Future?

By Conner Burks

Do you, a relative or close friend have student loan debt? Chances are all three hold some outstanding student debt. Student loans are now the second biggest type of debt in America only behind mortgages, but eclipsing credit cards. According to Forbes, more than 44 million people in the U.S. have outstanding student loans totaling $1.3 trillion. The average student in the class of 2016 had $37,172 in student loan debt. Read more…

Millennials Cash In On Financial Apps, Highest Saving Generation

By Heather Bryan

Anything from shampoo to a treadmill can be purchased at the touch of a button on a smartphone. It only makes sense money can be managed the same way through an increasing array of mobile apps. People, particularly millennials, use apps for budgeting, spending, investing and pretty much everything in between. In fact, millennials are coming out ahead of past generations when it comes to saving and investing. Read more…

Coping with Student Loans

By Kaleigh Galvin

When it comes to the infamous juggling act of college life, Andrew Dugan, 21, has been forced to become a master. On top of a full course load, the fourth-year religion student works 25 hours a week on campus to fight the looming reality of student loans, while also maintaining heavy involvement in his local church. “My biggest sacrifice is personal health,” he said. “There have been multiple weeks this semester alone that I have averaged thirty hours of sleep – maximum.” Read more…

Four Things to Know Before Signing a Lease

By Savannah McCoy

Renting an apartment or house is a milestone in a young adult’s life. It’s typically one of the first steps toward independence. No longer dependent on parents and paying for your own housing is a critical step toward adulthood. Before signing that first lease, however, renters understand their rights and responsibilities. Those obligations go beyond the obvious “you pay me, I’ll provide you housing” relationship between renter and landlord. Read more…

College Students Need More Financial Education

By Rakel Johnson

College is a place where students learn all kinds of new skills. In addition to learning academically, they are also learning a plethora of life lessons. However, a lot of college students feel they are collectively lacking in one important area that applies to the real world: financial education. Many students still feel ill-prepared to make their own major financial decisions. Read more…

Understanding the Tiny House Trend

By Rachel Hinkle

Ashley Jonasson, an entertainment and media studies student at the University of Georgia, has been interested in tiny houses since they became popular through television shows on HGTV and other networks. She is considering building her own tiny house one day and had a few questions about the tiny house movement and where it is projected to be in the future. Read more…

From Piggy Banks to Building Personal Credit

By Devon Tucker

An exciting, but uneasy part of moving into adulthood is the need to become financially independent.  No more allowance or piggy banks. The real world requires one to establish credit, but college students are far more likely to carry only a debit card rather than a credit card, explained Brenda Cude, a consumer economics professor at the University of Georgia. Read more…

Budget Builders: Advice for Those Entering, Existing in or Exiting College

By Josie Wall

The average student graduates with over $30,000 of debt as of As of April 2017, according to USA Today. The prospect of such a bill after graduation can deter many from even beginning the process of higher education, but there are ways to plan ahead and stay out of the hole. Read more…

Emergency Savings: Because It Could Happen to You

By Kalah Mingo

Elizabeth Medlock, a third-year linguistics major at the University of Georgia, walked to her car in her parking deck in Downtown Athens, Ga. She had a yoga class to attend, however, something was wrong. Her car was not in her assigned parking spot. She almost started to panic, but remembered she parked in a “future residents” spot closer to her apartment the night before. Unfortunately, she forgot to move it and her car had been towed. It would cost $150 to get it back. Read more…

Budgeting Tips for New Graduates

By Kelly Miller

Life after graduation for college students can mean many things: a change of pace, a chance to explore and a time to discover. However, with that freedom comes great responsibility. College grads are thrown into the “real world,” where training wheels come off, and bills are sent to them instead of their parents. Read more…

Young People and Overcoming the Fear of Taxes

By Maureen Sheeran

Alexa Gilomen, a senior at the University of Georgia said she doesn’t consider her taxes to be “a huge deal” now, but added, “I feel like in the future, it is going to be scary.”  Matt Goren, who teaches personal finance in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said students should overcome any fears about taxes by simply jumping in. “Give it a shot,” he said. “I think people think taxes are really confusing, and they’re really not that bad.” Read more…

Students and the Search for Housing

By Angelina Lewis

Caroline McHam, now a fourth-year consumer economics student, first came to the University of Georgia without knowing anyone, and the quest for housing was a daunting search. A friend of a friend led her to her roommate, Maddie Baker, who has since become a best friend. McHam said Baker had many qualities she looked for in a roommate, and since they were both in the honors program, it seemed to be a perfect match. After their first year living in the Myers honors program dorm on-campus, the two decided to move to an off-campus apartment. Read more…

Six Steps to Develop Good Money Habits

By Emily Haney

When it comes to personal finances, students typically fall in to one of two categories: seasoned or beginner.  J.T. Lynch, a sophomore at the University of Georgia, falls in to the latter category. Lynch said his parents covered only the basics of dealing with money while he was growing up. “It was just pay off your debt and use credit cards for emergencies,” said Lynch. “I really don’t know how to do those things, but I know I should. I don’t know how to save.” Read more…

Millennials and Urban Living

By Katherine Sauceda

Recent studies by the U.S. Census Bureau show more millennials are choosing to live in major cities after graduating college rather than suburban areas. These educated millennials’ population in cities has grown by up to 78 percent within the past few years, according to a Forbes report. Read more…

The Psychology of Money

By Kristin M. Bradshaw

Following the turn of their first tassels, graduated high school seniors enter the collegiate world wide-eyed and inspired by their new-found independence. While some have the soft cushion of their parents’ savings accounts, others with fewer resources find the move stressful. Read more…

Climb Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt

By Mary Grace Heath

Credit cards can be a great tool to have in college. They can help you develop good spending habits, earn rewards and build your own credit history, which will be important if you want to buy a house one day. But credit cards can also become a dangerous burden if they are used incorrectly, leaving students in major debt. Sometimes students don’t recognize the consequences debt can have until they are too far in. Read more…

College Connect: Earning Money from a Job that Pays Other Dividends

By Ron Davis

I’ve put in countless hours at the journalism school over the past few years. I am now in my final semester of college, still putting in those same hours, but now getting paid for it. Following a strong semester, I impressed my professor enough that he offered me a position to be his lone undergraduate teaching assistant. Read more…

College Connect: Making Sure You Earn Your Own Good Credit

By Ron Davis

Before my sophomore year of college, my dad gave a credit card that was to be used strictly for emergencies. The problem was, the card had my name on it, but wasn’t linked to my social security account, but to his, rather. It did nothing for my credit score. Read more…

College Connect: Treat Your Self!  Retail Therapy to Match a College Kid’s Bank Account

By Natalia Amandari

We’ve all had that moment. You see something nice in the store. Or maybe it’s a pricier drink at the coffee shop. You think to yourself:  No, I shouldn’t. I’d be better off saving that money. But then another thought creeps into your head…I just did well on my last exam, so it’s time to…Treat yourself! Read more…

College Connect: Eating Healthy on a College Student’s Budget

By Natalia Almandari

For most college students, living on your own for the first time also means cooking and grocery shopping on your own. Between classes, work and friends, it can be easy to resort to eating out every day or whipping up a quick bowl of ramen noodles. Read more…

College Connect: Tackle the High Cost of College with Parents as Partners

By John Messer

Finances in college have been a rollercoaster so far.  Actually, it’s more like juggling dynamite which may or may not be lit while riding a rollercoaster and Iron Maiden is blasting at top volume.  Between housing, food expenses, tuition, considerations for studying abroad, etc, and etc, the only positive emotion I feel is abject amazement that it’s working out as well as it has been so far. Read more…

College Connect: Decisions, decisions, decisions: How to pick among multiple job offers

By Carolyn Heger

The recruiting season for many majors is in full swing this month, with company recruiters visiting college campuses to encourage seniors to apply for their jobs. There is a significant amount of stress involved in networking with representatives from different firms, submitting job applications and interviewing for various positions. Read more…

College Connect: Saving for Retirement Early: Why It Matters and How to Do It

By Carolyn Heger

When I was in high school, my grandfather frequently stressed to me that I should begin saving for my retirement early. Back then, putting money aside for me to spend when I would be in my 60s and beyond was not at the forefront of my mind. I was focused on applying to colleges at that time, not on whether I would have enough money to live comfortably once I would stop working. Read more…

Planning and Restraint Help Me Make It On My Own

By Michael Boyer

I have been managing my own finances since I was about 15. This was never a huge issue until I came to college. In high school, I could count on one hand the number of times my parents gave me money for something. I didn’t ask, and they didn’t have anything to give me. I knew they had their own money problems. Fortunately, I earned enough from various jobs – from lifeguarding to fixing iPhone screens – to pay my expenses. Read more…

Saving Even While a Student

By Veronica Graff

For most, college is about embracing bankruptcy and finding peace within the fact that you’re simply broke—that was quite the wake-up call. Spending money is like gaining weight, it’s definitely noticeable, and the proof is in your bank account, but for some reason you don’t make the connection that those smoothies or juice cleanses and even those shoes that you had to have, eventually add up to a hefty credit card payment. Read more…

From Student to Adult (Gulp!)

By Sydney Maki

College is hard on your bank account. The fiscal responsibilities you’ll have after graduation hit even harder. This summer was my last as a student, and as financial aid dispersal season loomed close, I wondered what my life could look like in another 12 months. No more would I be able to craft a formula of savings and paychecks minus rent, utilities, textbooks and groceries to calculate how much my student loans needed to be. Read more…

Savvy Parents Lead by Example

By Mitchell Atencio

When I was 10-years-old my family and I moved into a new house. We moved from a medium-sized suburban house in Chandler, Arizona to a custom home in south Gilbert. First off, I recognize the privilege in this, I wouldn’t feel right writing this if I didn’t acknowledge that. But, that’s not the point of this. The point is finances and saving and the lessons learned. Read more…

New City and New Budget

By Kara Carlson

Over the summer I had the opportunity to intern in Seattle, and explore a new city I had no familiarity with. Living in a new, big, and expensive city all summer completely on my own made me really see money and budgeting in a new way. Being in a new city, I naturally wanted to take in as much of the sites, tourist attractions, local food and of course Seattle coffee as possible. The catch of course was how to manage this while balancing most of my costs on an intern’s salary. Read more…

Early Credit Training Pays Off

By Joe Gilmore

I learned at a very young age how important credit is. My parents opened up a bank account for me when I was still in elementary school or junior high. I got my first credit card in high school. Since then, I have been using it to build up my credit score so that when I need to take a loan the interest rate will be acceptable. Read more…

Tackling Student Loans and Credit

By Jimmie Jackson

For a first-time college student, it can be hard to figure everything out financially. You have to fill out the FAFSA in order to be offered scholarship, loan, or grant options. I filled out the FAFSA for my first year of undergrad at the University of Illinois. This was my first time having to know all about interest rates and such. At the time I qualified for subsidized loans that did not collect interest because the government would cover the interest. Read more…

Bargaining in Thailand

By Gabriel Sandler

“Two paintings for 1200 baht.” In a small art booth in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as it rained outside and my friends wandered away down the market street, I decided to stay and haggle. This is how I started. I wanted two paintings: one blue and black, an ethereal river town at night, the other black and orange and yellow, silhouetting a fisherman in a small boat, floating in front of a tree line. It was July 2012, I was 18 on a cultural immersion/community service trip. I wanted souvenirs. Read more…

Saving in School, Saving on Your Own

By Ethan Millman

Over the past few years as a college student, like almost any other student, I’ve had to become more frugal. As a first semester freshman, I didn’t hesitate to go to every dinner, movie or other social event to attempt to solidify the friendships I’d always heard would be the most important of my life. And for the first few months of college, I lived like this with no reservation. But given how unsustainable a lifestyle this was, it’s no shock that changes came relatively quickly. Read more…

The Little Things Add Up

By Courtney Beesch

My first set of consistent paychecks began when I was 15-years-old, working as a hostess for a local food joint. After finishing my school day, I’d wipe down menus, seat families, and make sure there were enough crayons for children accompanying their parents. I didn’t need the extra cash, but I felt a sense of pride in knowing that the money I did spend came from my own pocket. Read more…

Still a Lot to Learn About Money

By Arren Kimbel-Sannit

I thought long about how I could best illustrate the impact of money or finances in my life. I thought I might write about financial hardship, about paychecks getting stuck in the mail, or stipends getting delayed, and having to eat bread and peanut butter for a week. Read more…

Money’s Pros and Cons

By Andrew Wei

This summer I got a speeding ticket. I wasn’t going as fast as they said I was but I guess everyone says that. Without a doubt, it was a new experience. I’ve been pulled over before, but I don’t think anybody gets used to seeing the red and blue lights flicker on behind them. Read more…

Saving is NOT Over-Rated

By Andres Guerra Luz

Some people have to live paycheck-to-paycheck, but for me, I did it because I was dumb. It was my freshman year of college and I was a student worker at Arizona State University, where I study journalism. At my job, pay was good. It came every two weeks, so I had to make sure not to blow my whole paycheck in one week. Read more…

Starting a Mortgage While in College

By Erdenetungalag Erdenekhuyag

I am a student at University of Missouri who already have a mortgage. A home is typically the largest purchase for almost every student. The average home sale price in the U.S. is more than $300,000, according to the recent research conducted by St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. That’s a lot of money for anyone, but especially for someone who may be paying for college too. Read more…

How to Avoid From the Exchange Rate Stress

By Erdenetungalag Erdenekhuyag

This is my second year at University of Missouri (MU) and I am from Mongolia where one US dollar equals to 2500 tugrug, the Mongolian national currency. Since I came to the US, just in a year, the Mongolian Tugrug depreciated in value by 17 percent relative to the US dollar. This means all my costs here increased while my parent’s income remains unchanged in Mongolian currency. Read more…

Saving Money On Things of Short-Term Value

By Abby Ivory-Ganja

College students buy a lot of stuff – and often they don’t use it very long.   You might need something for the dorm, but different for an apartment. Tastes (and fads) change. We’ve all bought something and then kind of regretted it. Whether it’s a book or piece of clothing, you aren’t getting full value from the item anymore. Read more…

Students Can Save Money while Eating Out

By Abby Ivory-Ganja

As a college student, it’stempting to eat out. In fact, some near-campus restaurants take our student meal charge, so it’s even encouraged. If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up spending more than you realize on food. Lunch can cost $10, and diners about $20. That can really add up. Read more…

Troubled In Managing Your Financial Accounts? These Mobile Apps May Help.

By Huiqi Xu

An international student may have many accounts. I’ve found it difficult to manage my accounts as well as credit cards. Using an app on your smartphone or tablet is one way to put everything in one place. Read more…

How to Increase Credit Scores as an International student

By Huiqi Xu

Most international students have this problem – how to build credit in the United States when they are starting from zero? It was once a problem to me when I first came to the U.S. But luckily, I found an efficient way to increase credit scores within one year. Read more…

Maintaining a Healthy Credit Score in College

Learning About the “B” Word – Budgeting!

By Emma Diltz

Credit cards are a necessary evil, and it is better to start young to boost credit. It’s difficult to purchase a house or a car without showing fiscal responsibility. But, many young people, and even some matured adults get some level of anxiety when thinking about spending money they might not have. Read more…

Be Prepared When You Consider Post-College Move to NYC       

By Kouichi Shirayangi

Many college students aim to work in New York City after graduation. The searching can be daunting – weighing neighbors, commute time, cost and safety. You may have heard that New York is a very expensive city. That’s because it is. Read more…

For Many College Students, School Combines with Parenthood

By Kouichi Shirayangi

Nothing can be more satisfying (and thrilling!) than introducing a new life into the world. Yet being a first-time parent can be daunting, especially when considering the cost of raising a new infant. Add to that the stress finding out a baby is on the way just after getting handed by Masters in Journalism diploma. Read more…

College Students and the Equifax Breach

By Lauren Steffens

You’re a grad student. You’ve had a credit card for a couple of years, and you’ve been responsible. In fact, thanks to the Credit Card Act of 2009, it;s rare that you could get a credit card under your own name until you were 21 and had an income. That’s because credit card companies were now forbidden to basically hand out credit cards to college freshmen. Read more…

Applying for Graduate School – A Cost Analysis

By Lauren Steffens

I’ve been taking part-time graduate classes, but am seeking to enter a program full-time. I’m also working part-time, so the cost of applications is weighing on me. I am applying to MFA programs – master’s in fine arts. Because there are only a few doctoral programs in art, an MFA is considered a terminal degree. Read more…

Football May be a College Classic, but it’s Pricey!

By Alex Schiffer

For a lot of college students, Saturdays in the fall are the most unproductive day of the week. When college football season is in full swing it’s a tall task trying to get anything done on game day. Read more…

The High Cost of Turning 21

By Alex Schiffer

It’s a situation probably every college student remembers to some degree; the first time they got offered to drink alcohol in college. Sometimes that offer comes at a house party, other times in the dorms and heck, maybe if you have a good fake ID or know the right bouncer, maybe at a bar. Read more…

College Connect: In Today’s Work Journey – Be Prepared for Detours

By Philip Joens

As a student at the University of Missouri I’d often spend nights working at an on-campus dining hall—usually working in the dishroom or cooking cheese burgers on a hot and greasy grill— and say to myself, “There’s got to be something better than this.” Read more…

Spring 2017

College Connect: I took Jay Leno’s advice – will you?

By Philip Joens

In my last post I talked about my own experiences after graduating from college and how I’ve come to terms with the business side of my life as a reporter. When you’re young and not making much money though, it may be helpful to choose carefully where you’ll live and what you do in your free time. Read more…

College Connect: Ways College Students Mismanage Their Money

By Denver Ellison

It’s a fact that people mismanage their money. However, when college students mismanage their funds, it may be a lifestyle issue rather than a mistake. Read more…

College Connect: Reasons to Build Your Savings Account Early

By Denver Ellison

As college students, we find many ways to blow through our money.  We like to use our funds for new clothes and going out to eat with our friends. However, many finance professionals believe college students should recognize the importance of saving. Read more…

College Connect: Financial Expert Explains the Basics for College Students

By Denver Ellison

Many of us may think we have our personal finances under control. This is especially true if we have been living on our own for some time. However, talking to an expert can help us to better understand the various aspects of personal finance and how money is important in our lives. Read more…

College Connect: How I Prepared for Off-Campus Living

By Denver Ellison

Before making the final decision to move into an off-campus apartment, many of us may wonder what the difference is between living on and off campus. We go back and forth in our heads on if it is worth it to come out of pocket every month only because we want our own place. Read more…

College Connect: Turning to a Peer for Advice

By Denver Ellison

Peer advice can be some of the best advice to rely on when it comes to understanding college experiences. Our peers may have gone through similar situations and can help us learn from the mistakes that they made. Read more…

College Connect: Paying the Bills, While still Working towards a Career

By Garrett Michael

Abbi Camillo, an interior design major at the University of Georgia, has struggled to find a stable college job that will cover rent and other monthly living expenses, while also enhancing her ability to find a career. Read more…

College Connect: What should I be spending on?

By Garrett Michael

Lilley Cushman, a sophomore Biology major at the University of Georgia, said she has trouble deciding what to spend money on, while still growing a healthy savings account. She can cover most of her basic needs, like food, a place to live, and school tuition, but said she struggles to decide what to purchase when it comes to her wants. Read more…

College Connect: Debit Card Theft: 18 Cents She’ll Never Get Back

By Kalah Mingo

Emma Williams, a third year digital marketing major at the University of Georgia, was the victim of debit card theft. Her mother called asking why she had used her card at a gas station in Atlanta when she should’ve been in Athens. Read more…

College Connect: A Planning Tip When Preparing to Repay Your Student Loans

By Kalah Mingo

Alexis Williams, a third-year public relations major, has an unpaid internship, but makes money and saves on dinner as a server at Olive Garden. “I eat salad and breadsticks almost every night for dinner so it has its perks,” said Williams, who attends the University of Georgia. Read more…

College Connect: A College Students Gets Expert Advice on Her Five Key Questions

By Rachel Hinkle

Taylor Liszewski, an advertising major at the University of Georgia, had several questions about personal finance and budgeting as she prepares for life beyond college. College Connect turned to Matt Goren, an assistant professor at UGA who teaches Introduction to Personal Finance, for answers. Read more…

College Connect: An Expert Answers Five Questions about Planning for the Long-Term

By Rachel Hinkle

Taylor Liszewski, an advertising major at the University of Georgia, had more questions for a personal finance expert as she thought about her long goals for owning a home and planning a family. College Connect once again turned to Matt Goren, an assistant professor at UGA who teaches Introduction to Personal Finance, for the answers. Read more…

College Connect: Students with Questions about His Entrepreneurial Dream Gets Expert Answers

By Rachel Hinkle

Victor Edwins, 20, a marketing major at the University of Georgia, has questions about his dream of opening his own restaurant. College Connect found answers to those questions from Bob Pinckney, director the entrepreneurship program at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Read more…

College Connect: Students Have Options When Considering Post Graduation Plans

By Rachel Madray

As graduation approaches, college students are faced with a tough question. Now what? Perhaps the three most considered options are taking a year off to travel, going to graduate school or getting a job. There are financial pros and cons for each option so careful consideration is important before making a decision. Read more…

College Connect: What Most College Graduates Don’t Anticipate After Graduation

By Rachel Madray

Many college students are not prepared for the financial obligations they will face after graduation. After relying on their parents for the past 20 plus years of their lives, the transition to becoming self-sufficient can be shocking to many, especially if they have not prepared for what to expect. Read more…

College Connect: Being a Broke College Student

By Reann Huber

Having gone through three years of college, I have seen just about every type of student that likes to designate themselves as a “broke” college student. They might not have received as big of a paycheck because they missed a few shifts while preparing for a test, or had to spend a little extra on textbooks for the semester. Read more…

College Connect: Expert Explains the Reality of Credit Cards

By Reann Huber

Diann Moorman is an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and specializes in research on bankruptcy, single parent households, credit card debt and more. I reached out to Moorman to learn more about credit cards and the debt that often comes along with them and how they affect college students. Read more…

College Connect: Considering Law School? You May Have to Give Up the Part-time Job

By Reann Huber

Many students consider the possibility of attending graduate school immediately after finishing their undergraduate degree, but the daunting price tag that comes along with pursuing a higher degree brings financial concerns to students they may not have faced in the past. Read more…

College Connect: Creating and Actually Sticking to a Budget

By Reann Huber

For college students, financial planning and budgeting is easily one of the biggest headaches to deal with when also pursuing a degree. Nonetheless, there are easy ways to make and stick to a budget that any college student can follow. Read more…

College Connect: The Money Ups and Downs of College Students from a Single-Parent Home

By Reann Huber

On the surface, it is not easy to see any differences between a college student who comes from a single-parent household or one from dual-income household. But, research shows these different environments often lead to students approaching their college expenses in completely different ways. Read more…

College Connect: Tapping into Tuition Assistance Programs

By Tommy Lehner

What if there was a legitimate way to get most of your college tuition paid for while you work? Sounds intriguing, right? In the state of Georgia, this is a reality through a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Read more…

College Connect: My first credit card

By Alexa Nicole D’Angelo

The first time I really started to think about money was when I got my first credit card. I am a notorious shopaholic with a tendency to shop until I have nothing in my bank account when I am stressed. Read more…

College Connect: Gambling in Las Vegas

By Allie Morgan Newman

Like many people do, I celebrated by 21st birthday in Las Vegas. It is easy to see the opportunity to both spend and make money in a place like Vegas. Read more…

College Connect: The lessons of money

By Brianna Stearns

Although some may warn that money is the root of all evil, my life would be vastly different if I had not had the financial ability to participate in luxuries such as traveling, trying new activities and attending an out-of-state university. Read more…

College Connect: Line of credit

By Corinne Roels

Something that I learned a lot about during while working in retail was how applying for credit cards and acquiring them can affect your credit score.  As an employee of a large-size mall retailer, it was frequently a part of our required performance to “sell” credit cards to customers. Read more…

College Connect: Keeping a budget

By Jenna Miller

Most of my life I haven’t kept a budget. I didn’t see the need to put energy into recording what I make and spend. I never looked at my credit statement or my bills and I thought it worked totally fine. Read more…

College Connect: Real world budgeting

By Kara Carlson

When you’re sixteen years old, getting your license finally means freedom. For me, as student involved in several extracurriculars and two sports it meant that my long days at least began and ended with me behind the wheel. Read more…

College Connect: Fake discounts

By Lan Jiang,, and, these e-commerce websites provide cheaper goods than that in the off-line stores. It is very often that those e-commerce websites providing a discount on some special festivals, such as Best Buy’s time-limited discount on the President Day. Read more…

College Connect: Investing in the future

By Madison Alder

A time I learned something about money was when I discovered my summer internship had automatically set up a 401K for me and I had to transfer the balance. Read more…

College Connect: Exchange rates

By Ziluo Qiu

When thinking about money, the first thing that comes to my mind is the exchange rate. I am an international student. It is necessary for me to understand exchange rate because it affects my life abroad. Read more…

College Connect: My first paycheck

By Ross Leviton

One of my first, and most memorable times with money was after the arrival of my first paycheck. I had volunteered with a company for a few months and they had decided to hire me, which meant I was going to get paid! Read more…

College Connect: Staying on top of finances

By Saundra Wilson

This year I got my first credit card and I had a sentimental moment in my car afterwards. I realized that there was no going back. I had taken a giant leap into the pool of adulthood and was officially submerged. Read more…

College Connect: Putting time and money in perspective

By Michelle Maki

When I first watched “The Avengers,” I leaned over and asked my friends, “How much do you think it would cost to rebuild the whole city after they’re done?” Read more…

College Connect: Credit scores can be confusing

By Yu Zhang

As an international student, I am a newcomer as to the credit scores in the U.S. As soon as I was told that a U.S. credit card will benefit me in terms of flying miles and, I went to Chase to applied for a credit card. However, I was turned down as my credit history was too short. Read more…

College Connect: Watching the Little Things Can Be Essential to College Student Budgeting

By Casey Williams

Managing the often routine expenses can pay off for college students on a budget. Ann Woodyard, an assistant professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia, said simply saving money on gas can make a difference.

College Connect: College Students Lack Training in Financial Literacy

By Shannon Duffy

Nearing graduation, Caskey Dyer feels optimistic about his post-graduation job options. Dyer’s education in international affairs at the University of Georgia has equipped him to intern with Georgia Rep. Park Cannon, work as a teacher’s assistant and publish work on housing inequality.

College Connect: How to Survive on a Graduate Student Budget

By Ryan Kor

As a first-year master’s student freshly off of my parents’ payroll, the only thing tougher than graduate coursework is figuring out how to manage my personal finances. I constantly have to monitor my spending to ensure that I can pay for essential expenses.

College Connect: Financial Savvy Needed When Entering the Working World

By Russell Vandiver

College is a time in life to grow personally and to learn skills that will help establish a career. Although college graduates leave with greater knowledge in their chosen major, they often lack significant training that will prepare them for the financial decisions they will confront.

College Connect: Student Loan Debt Not Only Factor in Millennials Delaying Homeownership

By Rakel Johnson

College comes at a hefty price. It’s no surprise that many students take out thousands in loans to afford their education, and many graduate with a large amount of debt.

College Connect: Savings Can Make College Less Affordable for Some Families

By Nathaniel Berg

For parents of prospective college students, it’s important to plan ahead financially. And while conventional logic would suggest that saving money is the best way to prepare for your child’s higher education, a professor in the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences said that is not always the case.

College Connect: UGA Finance Students Provide Free Tax Filing Through Community Outreach Program

By Nathan Hutto

The University of Georgia gives back to its Athens community in many ways, but one service gains special attention every spring: finance students provide free tax filing and financial advice.

College Connect: College Students Advised to Start Saving Early

By Nate Harris

Though some college student may work part-time jobs during school, for many, their first job outside college is their first steady flow of sizeable income. It’s also when many face a plethora of personal expenses, from rent and utilities to food and gas. Some might also enter the professional world with thousands in student loan debt.

College Connect: Mortgages and homeownership could benefit some students over apartment rentals in the long-run

By Lindsey Conway

For most college students, homeownership is not at the top of the to-do list. But Ashley Panter, who has owned two homes since graduating with her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Augusta University in 2012, said more should consider it.

College Connect: Financial Planning: Save Now or Pay Later

By Killian Wyatt

Never before have people had to make so many financial decisions on their own. Most college students aren’t prepared for these choices, but they can take steps now to secure a solid financial future.

College Connect: Students Need to Adapt to Budgeting in College

By John Hammel

Getting used to harder classes, making new friends and learning to live with a roommate are all reasons why many students find it hard to adapt to their first year of college. Another reason often overlooked is managing money.

College Connect: Many students have debt; few understand their credit score

By Harrison Young

In the age of rising costs of attendance and omnipresent student loan debt, few students graduate from college without developing their credit.

College Connect: Financial Satisfaction a Result of Strong Financial Behavior

By Gracie Thompson

Strong financial behaviors are more important than a base of financial knowledge when it comes to a person’s overall financial satisfaction.

College Connect: Students should confront their money through budgeting

By Chelsey Shirley

For many, college is four years of great adventure, growth and learning. It can also be a time when parents begin to wean their children off of their ‘payroll’ to allow their now young adults the time to practice what is known as ‘adulting.’

College Connect: Unfamiliar Surroundings Can Make Housing Search Difficult Without Thorough Research

By Casie Wilson

Angel Hogg, a 3rd year pre-veterinary student at the University of Georgia, is searching for a home in Athens, Georgia. While juggling the challenges all young adults face when house-hunting for the first time on their own— from managing credit to contacting the right realtors— Hogg also faces a problem familiar to non-Athens natives: the outsider perspective.

College Connect: Some College Students Can Qualify for Government Support to Meet Basic Needs

By Brittany Johnson

The cost of living in college is costly. Students are responsible for tuition, textbooks, rent, and other miscellaneous bills that can make paying for food seem like an option, rather a necessity.

College Connect: Stress Can Hinder College Students’ Performance

By Andrew Fisher

College tends to inflict a great deal of stress onto students, but many people do not understand the extent of it.   High levels of stress hinder learning, memory, immune function and more.  Being able to acknowledge stress can help students get a head start on managing it.

College Connect: Lack of Affordable Housing Can Negatively Affect College Students

By Amy Libby

College students living off campus often grapple with few housing options and poor housing conditions. Students shouldering heavy course loads that don’t allow for full-time employment are limited by scarce affordable housing options within their budget.

College Connect: Saving Money at the Grocery Store

By Zack Newman

I relish food and am constantly enticed by the possibility of a smorgasbord of flavors. While the occasional splurge is ok, constructive habits can lead to long-term savings. This happens a few dollars at a time. I compiled a few of my favorite tricks below to save money at the food store.

Filing Taxes Cause College Students to Confront their Money Skills

By Lisa Fu

College is when many young adults take their first step to financial independence. It may be taking on a part time job or simply remembering to pay the rent on time, but college is when many students often confront their responsibilities with money and find their knowledge is lacking.

College Loans are Necessary, but Require Planning

By Azure Aladin

College is expensive. Tuition, rent, textbooks, groceries and other bills add up, forcing many college students to take out loans to defer the expense of attending a university.

Yes, You Really Can Afford to Take That Internship

By Covey Eonyak Son

Around this time last year, I finally got a call I spent months hoping to get. The voice on the other end offered me an internship at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It was a happy ending to an annual ritual that thousands of college students take part in each year. We spend hours writing and refining cover letters and résumés with the hope that we’ll be chosen. So naturally, the call left me feeling high with joy.

Managing Your Money Doesn’t Have to Be So Stressful

By Covey Eonyak Son

You probably grew up getting allowances from your parents. Your parents probably got you a piggybank one day, and told you to not to break it open until you’ve saved enough money. And they almost definitely at some point told you to put something back at the store because you don’t really need it.

In Today’s Electronic Age, Receipts Can Be Your Friend

By Covey Eonyak Son

My dad always told me to hold onto my receipts, no matter how minor the purchase. He was obsessed with collecting them. He even had boxes (yes, multiple) of old receipts and invoices in his home office. Just in case.

College Connect: Effectively budgeting for the holiday season

By Emma Diltz

As the holiday season is upon us, students are strapped for money more than usual. Throughout the rest of the year, they’re usually focused on buying groceries, paying rent and with the little money they have left, shopping or attending a variety of events. All too often, December rolls around, the same time every year, and students haven’t even started pricing gifts, let alone purchasing them.

College Connect: Getting your first credit card and how to manage it

By Emma Diltz

Getting a credit card is a big push into adulthood for a lot of people, including students. Going into college, it’s a good idea to start thinking about getting a credit card. Without good credit, it’s hard to buy a house, pay off student loans or buy a car.

College Connect: Best money-saving apps for students

By Emma Diltz

At this age, students struggle with saving money. There’s rent to pay off, groceries to buy and miscellaneous bills to check off. But half of the fun in college is being able to go out with your friends, whether it is dinner, drinks or concerts. The problem with all of these is how much money they cost. I’ve compiled the best apps that students can use to save money for the fun parts of their lives.

College Connect: As an international student, make sure your bank is actually ‘local’

By Daniel Levitt

Telling your bank that you’re going abroad on vacation is often unnecessarily laborious. Try telling them that you’re moving abroad to study until ‘who knows when?’

College Connect: Grad School Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

By Daniel Levitt

When I first told my friends and family of my plans to study in America, they thought I was barmy. And that was before I told them it was a master’s degree that I wanted to pursue.

College Connect: A new bicycle isn’t worth it – YES IT IS!

By Daniel Levitt

“I’ll buy one at the start of the semester.” “I’ll buy one after my exam.” “No, seriously, I’ll buy one on the weekend.” Sound familiar? There’s only one time to buy that bicycle you need, and that’s now!

College Connect: Why I have a Safety Net

By Charlie Clark

I got my first job at 19 making $8.25 per hour working in a coffee shop. Although I would by no means characterize that as good pay, I was in college on a scholarship, and it was certainly enough income to fill my gas tank and supply my diet of ramen and microwavable mac n’ cheese.

College Connect: Money Can’t Buy Love

By Jacob Garcia

I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “Money can’t buy love.” I agree, and I hope my experiential story about money demonstrates that.

College Connect: Lessons in Money from New York City

By Kanak Jha

This past summer I had the opportunity to move to bustling New York City. New York is full of life lessons, especially for a young student working their first full time internship far away from home. Some of the most prominent lessons the city taught me was about money.

College Connect: The Bank of Mom and Dad

By Connor Murphy

After swallowing my pride, I called the bank which every college student dreads, but inevitably uses: the bank of mom and dad.

College Connect: Why I never buy anything that’s not on sale

By Kourtney Balsan

I never buy anything that isn’t on sale. Red stickers and slashed prices is my norm. Why? Well, besides the fact I am a broke college student, I realized that everything will usually go on sale eventually.

College Connect: Is Money Happiness?

By Anya Rogers

Money is a medium of exchange, a unit of accounts and a store of wealth. Money is many things, but it is not happiness, time or love.

College Connect: Buy Now, Pay Later

By Sophia Kunthara

The simplest lesson in personal finance: don’t spend what you don’t have (or won’t have). This is true for borrowing money in the form of loans and for credit card spending. Taking out a loan and using a credit card can have enormous benefits, but can easily be a trap for debt as well.

College Connect: Magic or Credit?

By Serena Zhang

I remember being in awe of credit cards when I was really young. Before I even knew the official name, I use to call them “magic cards” because money was magically stored in them. I was 16 when I got my first magic card.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…


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