Many college students struggle with personal finance and have a hard time saving money. On top of that, many banks don’t offer a savings account that is conducive to a college student’s savings plan and budget. To get a decent interest rate, most banks require a large balance in the tens of thousands, which isn’t an easy feat for most students.
Decide on a Savings Plan
Most college students don’t think saving money is important. While it’s true you don’t necessarily have to start saving for retirement while in college (although it definitely helps), you do need a savings account. You need to plan for unexpected events and emergencies. It also helps to save money if something really incredible comes up – like a trip to Europe. Having the financial freedom to join your friends on a vacation is a much better choice than having to beg your parents for the funds.
If you’re saving up for something specific, like a $10,000 car, figure out how much you need to put away per month. If you’re just saving money, put away as much as you can per month. Even small savings can add up over time to large amounts of money. An extra $5 per month over a few years makes a huge difference, especially if you get a good interest rate.
Finding a Bank
The first step is finding a bank that offers what you need. You can start locally by visiting banks and credit unions in your area or you can start online by searching. Credit unions will be more friendly to smaller accounts, but you will be limited by their smaller network. While a large network is more important for checking accounts than savings accounts, this may still matter to you if you live far from home or plan on moving soon.
Choosing the Best Account
Once you find a bank that you think will work best for you, look carefully at their types of savings accounts. You want to find the best savings account for you. Look at minimum deposit amounts, monthly balances and any fees associated with the accounts. U.S. federal law only allows you to withdraw money a maximum of six times per month for an account to be considered a savings account. Most banks will turn your account into a checking account if you go over the withdraw limit, and sometimes they will charge you a fee.
It is always a good idea to be fully responsible with your finances when you are going to college. It helps you become a better person and allows you to become independent. Considering the current economic situation, it is important to consider all options and directly manage your money.
The process of applying for a scholarship is essentially similar to college application.
- Narrow down all potential choices into a list of grants that matches your needs and requirements
- Create appealing application supported by achievements and recommendations
Here are some steps to create a compelling scholarship application –
- Research early
- Read whether you are eligible for the scholarship grant
- Be well-organized with all your scholarship materials and have them ready prior to the application date
- Check your application and have it proofread
- Do not leave any items on the application blank
- Always follow instructions strictly
- Ensure your application is written legibly and clearly
- Keep a copy of the things you send out
- Submit your application early
It is considered a good idea to get in touch with the financial aid office of the universities or colleges that you want to attend to and inquire about their policies on scholarship grants outside their institutions.
There are various types of scholarships offered today and searching for the right one could be overwhelming for both students and parents. Before beginning the process of applying for any scholarship, it is important that you learn about the different types available and where to look for them.
Athletic scholarships are often awarded to high school athletes based on skill and performance. Unless you’re already a talented athlete, you should keep looking. Academic scholarships are based on your academic merit and financial scholarships are for those in financial need of assistance. Academic scholarships are hard to get because you’re being judged based on GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities and awards. Athletic and academic scholarships are very competitive and you need to start early to market your abilities to get noticed.
Places to look for private scholarships:
- High schools
- Religious organizations
- Chamber of commerce
- Philanthropic organizations
- Websites like CollegeScholarships.org
Your school can help you get scholarships, but unless you’re in the top of your class, you need to look for your own to get the best ones. Look into private scholarships, which are offered by foundations, organizations or companies that are working for the betterment of students.
Applying for private scholarships takes time and effort, but can be very beneficial. Apply for as many as you qualify for and even if you only get small ones, it will all add up to a bigger reward.
SPENDonLIFE.com is sponsoring a $2,000 blogging scholarship for student bloggers. The importance of credit and protecting yourself from identity theft is something that should be important to all students, but is often forgotten in the midst of studying, partying and working.
To enter the blogging scholarship, you simply have to have a blog (an ongoing one or you can create one) and write a post about credit or identity theft. The requirements are very simple and straightforward. As long as you stick to the topic, you can write anything you want. How it has personally affected you, how to protect yourself, or even how you find it scary that nearly every company you do business with has a database full of information on you. You have to be 18 years old and a full or part-time student at an accredited university. The deadline is December 1st and the winner gets paid on January 1, 2009.
For more information about this $2,000 blogging scholarship sponsored by SPENDonLIFE.com, you can visit their website. SPENDonLIFE is a member of the National Scholarship Providers Association so you know this is a legitimate scholarship. SPENDonLIFE also offers ten scholarships per year for students who have been denied loans because of bad credit.