10 Common Financial Mistakes Every Student Should Avoid

10 Common Financial Mistakes Every Student Should Avoid
  • Opening Intro -

    Some college students get to their new campus expecting that they will be leaving in a few years with a great education and memories of some crazy times.

    Unfortunately, most leave with a great amount of debt.

    The following represents 10 common financial mistakes students must avoid:

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By Roxanne Lane

1. Not Applying For Student Aid

Most college students have applied for Federal Student Aid and college scholarships before leaving high school and they leave it at that. Many don’t realize that they should continue to apply throughout their college years. Just because you didn’t qualify once doesn’t mean that you won’t get it next time you apply.

2. Credit Cards

Many students get their first piece of plastic and they go on a spree. According to Nellie Mae, undergraduates have an average of $2,200 in credit card debt. Graduate students have nearly $6,000 to pay back.

Having a credit card is not a bad thing, if you use it responsibly. Purchasing your books and paying them off is all right. Pizza and beer for a party is unwise as you will be paying interest on items that you no longer have. It may have tasted good, but you will have nothing to show for it.

3. Dropping Grades and Losing Credits

Substandard grades can cost college students their scholarships. It is essential to maintain your grades as scholarships do have a minimum grade point average. Dropping below the required mark can leave you high and dry and out of school.

Student loans will require you to have a certain number of credit hours. Failing to take the proper amount of credit hours can cause the lender to have you start repaying the loan early. This will definitely put a damper on your future plans.

4. Enrolling In Useless Classes

Some students load their schedules with courses that are not required and will be of no benefit to them in the future. They do this so that they have an easy schedule and maintain the required credit hours for their loans. This is a huge waste of time and money. You should only take classes that are necessary or will help you when you finally graduate.

5. Not Using the Free Perks

Colleges have free perks that are included in their tuition and fees. Students usually receive free health services at school. You should always start with the health center at your school because this will save you from getting a medical bill.

Student assembly fees are also a part of your tuition. It may sound boring, but it’s a great place to meet other students. Some schools also provide snacks during the assemblies so you could at least score something to eat.

6. Wrong Choice of Meal Plans

One of the biggest wastes of money is neglecting the meal plan you bought. Students usually start out eating the meals they paid for, but slowly stop going to the dining hall. This is a huge waste of money. Think about it: you have already paid for your food and if you don’t eat it, you will be spending even more money on meals.

7. Buying Brand New Textbooks

A lot of students rush right out to the student bookstore to purchase their textbooks. They cost a ton of money. You can easily get most of your necessary books by searching for used ones online. This will really save money.

8. Dropping Classes After The Refund Cutoff

Some college students try to stick it out in a difficult class. Take careful note of the date when you can no longer obtain a refund. Drop the class before the cutoff date or you will be paying for a class that is useless to you.

9. Failing Your Classes

This is a really big problem and can become a financial burden. A failed class will always be on your college transcripts and that is never a good thing. If the class is required coursework or a prerequisite, you will have to retake the class. This isn’t free. You will have to pay the full cost again.

10. Dropping Out Of School

School isn’t for everybody. Dropping out in your first semester won’t absolutely kill you, but waiting until your second, third or worse fourth year will be a major waste of time and resources.

Author Information

Roxanne Lane shares with you her college financial experience.  She writes college credit card reviews for CreditDonkey and recommends Citi’s mtvU card for students.  Remember to apply for financial aid, scholarships and grants before pursuing your credit card options.

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Categories: Personal Advice