Financial Literacy at Columbia College
The Financial Literacy Program at Columbia College is designed to expand students’ personal knowledge regarding finances by providing access to adequate resources needed to make wise and informed financial decisions in school and in their early professional lives.
Many of the resources below are available at CashCourse, a free financial literacy website sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®). When you click a link to view a CashCourse resource, you will be asked to register for an account. This is free, takes only a couple minutes, and you do not have to be a Columbia College student to take advantage of CashCourse.
Take control of your money! It is important to track spending, set a budget, and discern a need versus a want.
Create a Budget: http://budget.cashcourse.org/
Rein in Overspending:
Personal Finance for Women: http://www.annuity.org/financial-literacy/women/
If you do not have a checking and/or savings account, now is the time to get both. There are different types of banks and accounts, and a number of factors to consider. Click the links for an overview to help you weigh your options.
From using your Columbia College Student ID, preparing for life after college, and taking advantage of compound interest, you can spend less, save more, and be better prepared for whatever goals you have or life throws your way.
Credit and Debt
Credit cards can be useful, but one mistake can blemish your credit record and haunt you for years. It is important to consider the risks and benefits of credit, and learn what your options are to help manage and pay down debt.
Choosing a Credit Card: http://www.creditcards.com/
Worried about repaying your student loans? You do have options. Find what works for you:
Federal Loan Information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans
Credit Reports and Scores
Good credit is critical for taking out loans, buying a car or home, and sometimes even for getting a job. Use the resources below to find out how to get and keep a good credit score, get an annual free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies, as well as find out your credit score.
Importance of Good Credit: http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/credit-debt/how-to-get-and-keep-a-good-credit-score.aspx
Credit Reports: www.annualcreditreport.com
College Students & Identity Theft
If you have a bank account or credit cards, you should check your statements regularly. If you notice any unfamiliar charges, you may be a victim of identity theft. Browse the resources below for information on what steps you should take should you suspect or can prove that your identity or bank information is being used fraudulently.
As a student, you may or may not have to file taxes, so be sure to look into it. Once you have that first job as a college graduate, you will definitely have to file.
IRS Information: http://www.irs.gov/Filing
Local Tax Preparation Offices
The following is for informational purposes only. Columbia College is not providing an endorsement of the tax service providers below.
Liberty Tax Service | 4058 W Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29204 | 803-540-1045
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service | 4122 W Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29204 | 803-771-7444
M & M Income Tax Service |3910 Two Notch Rd # A, Columbia, SC 29204 | 803-691-9494
Cynthia’s Tax Preparation | 7403 Parklane Rd # 1, Columbia, SC 29223 | 803-462-9990
Ethel or Stroy Tax Services | 5323 N Main St, Columbia, SC 29203 | 803-754-8504
E & J’s Tax Services | 3512 Farrow Rd, Columbia, SC 29203 | 803-256-0032
Understanding what financial aid options you have and how to apply is critical to your college success. Be sure you understand what financial aid exists, fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st, and explore what your state and institution can offer as well.
Federal Aid: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types
South Carolina Aid: http://www.che.sc.gov/Students,FamiliesMilitary.aspx
Columbia College Financial Aid Office: http://www.columbiasc.edu/admissions/financial-aid
Manage your money on the go! Check out these apps to help monitor your account balances, spending, and even create a budget.
Money Manager Expense & Budget
Out in the Real World
Big decisions like shopping for an apartment or car require research. You will also have to plan and prepare your own meals, and look out for your own well-being, all while managing your financial resources. The websites below can help you get started.
Car Shopping: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/index.htm
Healthy Eating on a Budget: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/budget
For Additional Information Contact
Division of Student Affairs
Center for Academic and Professional Advising