While college is often called “the best four years of your life,” it can also end up being the most expensive four years of your life if you aren’t mindful of your finances. Between tuition, room and board, activity fees, and other college costs, things can really start to add up (not to mention the price of that shopping trip with your friends or the late night pizza you ordered).
If you’re financing college all on your own, then it’s important to know the steps needed at each point during your college career. If your parents normally take care of most financial responsibilities for your college experience, then being mindful of what steps they are taking will help keep your educational costs in perspective.
Here is your financial checklist to keep you on track at each point during your years in college:
College Financial Checklist
If you’re a social media nerd like me, then you understand just how awesome it is to have an entire day dedicated to celebrating the power of social networking. Thanks to Mashable, an online publication about digital innovation, the annual “Social Media Day” is celebrated worldwide each year on June 30th. This celebratory day first took place in 2010 and has been declared an official holiday by 17 cities worldwide and three U.S. states. Social media enthusiasts celebrated this momentous day by engaging in the conversation via the twitter hashtag #smday or through attending a scheduled meetup event at a local spot. I joined up with other Boston social media geeks at the Mashable Social Media Day event that took place at Boston University.
I sat down with Geraldine Taylor, Associate Dean & Director for Health & Wellness at Bentley University to talk about college health and staying healthy on campus. To learn more about college health and great apps to stay healthy, check out my previous post here.
Why is it so important for students to either be covered through their school for health insurance or to be on their parents’ plan?
Because the cost of health care is so high and all of us get sick one time or another, all students should have health insurance. the state of Massachusetts requires all students to have health insurance with certain benefits. This is a very good thing . Just an ER visit can cost several hundred dollars. Health insurance can defray that cost. Many people think that having a high deductible plan is the way to go because it is cheaper to buy. If one has a high deductible plan – This means that if they need health care and say the cost of an ER visit is a thousand dollars and they have a $2000 deductible plan then they will have to pay the thousand dollars or up to $2000 out of pocket until they are covered. This is a risk some people take. It is a risk I don’t recommend.
Are your chances of graduating college connected to your health insurance coverage? A study done in 2002 found that students without health insurance were less likely to finish college than those with insurance plans. In college, it’s not a surprise that health risks are high. The college atmosphere and culture provides an environment for increased risks of the flu, diseases, mental illnesses, substance abuse, and hospital visits.
The importance of having health insurance in college is clear—yet, why do some students choose not to get a plan? In 2006, a study done by the US Government Accountability Office found that around 20% or over 1 million college students did not have coverage from health insurance plans and were paying medical bills out-of-pocket. Often, students don’t have health insurance because they think it’s not affordable or are unsure of the options for health insurance.
When I applied to be a resident assistant (RA) at my school, I had no idea how my life would change. Being an RA has helped me grow personally and professionally, as well as helped give me a name and a leadership role on campus. RAs are not only activity planners and policy enforcers, but are also representatives of one of the largest parts of a college – its Residence Life department.
The RA role is life-changing and is something I’ll never regret becoming involved in, but with any accomplishment, it was not smooth sailing from the start. There were many challenges, and even now as an experienced RA, the job is always teaching me something new.
Did you know that there are about 3,800 university housing fires every year? That’s about one fire per U.S. campus. Fires in the dorms are more common than you think and can often be easily preventable. “A leading cause of fires on campus is cooking, with cooking equipment being involved in 75% of the reported dorm fires.”
Campus fires are scary because not only do you run the risk of losing your precious personal items, but you run the risk of losing your health or even your life. Bedroom fires on campus accounted for 62% of the civilian deaths and 26% of the civilian injuries. It’s important to recognize the risks in your dorm room for fires and how to practice fire safety by following campus rules and taking fire drills and practices seriously.
Using social media tools for your job search is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to build your personal brand and attract employers’ attention. According to an awesome infographic on Mashable.com, 14.4 million people used social media to find their job in 2011. It’s clear that social media can not only help you get a job, but is also helpful in showing you what jobs are open and who you might know that works at that company. In 2010, 92% of hiring managers used or plan to use social networking tools for recruitment.
However, it’s also important to note that while social media is a fantastic resource for the job hunt, it can also lead to your demise depending on the content you post. On average in 2011, 1 out of 3 employers rejected a candidate based on something they found about them online. In general, remember the rule that every time you post something on the web, you should think about whether you would want to talk about that post in an interview. If you answer no to the question, then you shouldn’t post it at all. This includes inappropriate or partying photos, tweets or status updates complaining about work or school, and any posts with swears or offensive statements.
Your resume is the key to the front door of your dream internship. It’s the first step in gaining an interview for the career position you’ve been working hard to get to through all your college classes. Along with networking, researching the company, and being a great interviewee, your resume can make or break your chances of getting an offer. I’ve obsessed over perfecting my résumé during my time in college and I’ve worked on my résumé skills with Bentley University’s Career Services office (ranked #8 in the nation by the Princeton Review).
Here are the tricks of the “resume” trade that I’ve been taught:
For many of us, Spring Break is right around the corner. We’re pushing through these last couple of days or weeks of assignments, meetings, and internships so that we can feel the wind in our hair and be free for an entire week.
Whether you’re still searching for a destination or just want to see if your Spring Break location made the cut for the top five, we’ve got the top 2013 Spring Break destination spots for you with all of the details. Check it out!
If you’re a college student like me, then you probably have no clue where to start with “doing taxes” because your parents have most likely done them for you in the past.
However, filing taxes needs to be a priority, especially if you had a job for the past year (work-study jobs included) and are currently going to college, because you could potentially save money on your education costs. Also, if you’ve earned interest from bank accounts, have used scholarship or financial aid money for something other than tuition or textbooks, or if you’re not a US resident and are here on a visa, then you definitely should file your taxes.