Financial Literacy at Columbia College

Financial Literacy at Columbia College 

Mission

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. 

Please Note

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. 

Personal Finance

Take control of your money! It is important to track spending, set a budget, and discern a need versus a want.

Track Expenses:   http://www.balancetrack.org/collegestudents/pdf/studenttracking.pdf

Create a Budget:  http://budget.cashcourse.org/

Rein in Overspending:   

http://cashcourse.org/solving-problems/income-gaps/5-dangers-of-overspending.aspx

http://zenhabits.net/monitor-your-impulse-spending-urges/

Personal Finance for Women:   http://www.annuity.org/financial-literacy/women/

Banking

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.

http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/banking/online-or-traditional-banking-which-is-better-for-you.aspx

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/manage-your-college-money/#o1

Savings

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.

Student Discounts:   http://columbiasc.edu/images/Campus%20Life/OSA_OneColumbia/Student_Discounts.pdf

Prepare for the Future:   http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/saving-goal-setting/saving-money-while-in-college-it-can-be-done.aspx

Saving Goals:   http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/saving-goal-setting/start-savingpay-yourself-first.aspx

Compound Interest: http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/saving-goal-setting/the-power-of-compound-interest.aspx

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.

Credit Cards: http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/credit-debt/the-smart-students-guide-to-managing-credit-cards.aspx

Choosing a Credit Card:   http://www.creditcards.com/

Debt Management:  

www.debt.org

http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/credit-debt/get-out-of-credit-card-debt-now.aspx

http://www.cashcourse.org/making-purchases/shopping-spending/plugging-spending-leaks.aspx

http://www.cashcourse.org/money-101/budgeting/living-paycheck-to-paycheck-cut-out-unnecessary-spending.aspx

Student Loans

Worried about repaying your student loans? You do have options. Find what works for you:

Repayment Plans: http://www.cashcourse.org/paying-for-education/repaying-student-loans/choosing-the-best-repayment-plan-for-you.aspx

Federal Loan Information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans

Repayment Relief: http://www.cashcourse.org/solving-problems/income-gaps/5-options-for-student-loan-repayment-relief.aspx

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 

Credit Score: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/316/where-can-i-get-my-credit-score.html

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.

ID Theft Infographic:  http://mailboxbigbox.com/blogs/blog/70832451-identity-thieves-heart-college-students-   infographic

Prevention: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/your-money/identity-theft/02idtheftprimer.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Steps to take: http://www.cashcourse.org/solving-problems/fraud/recovering-from-identity-theft.aspx

Taxes

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.

Tax Basics: http://www.cashcourse.org/working-earning/wages-benefits/the-smart-students-guide-to-doing-taxes.aspx

IRS Information: http://www.irs.gov/Filing

File for Free: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

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

Financial Aid

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

FAFSA:   https://fafsa.ed.gov/

South Carolina Aid:   http://www.che.sc.gov/Students,FamiliesMilitary.aspx

Columbia College Financial Aid Office: http://www.columbiasc.edu/admissions/financial-aid

Apps

Manage your money on the go! Check out these apps to help monitor your account balances, spending, and even create a budget.

Mint

Money Manager Expense & Budget

Level Money

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.

Apartment Shopping:  

http://www.myfirstapartment.com/

www.rent.com

Car Shopping:   http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/index.htm

Healthy Eating on a Budget:   http://www.choosemyplate.gov/budget

Self-Care on a Budget:   http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/09/you-can-practice-self-care-on-a-budget/

For Additional Information Contact

Division of Student Affairs    

803.786.3856

Center for Academic and Professional Advising      

803.786.3719