Financial Aid Literacy
It is very important to manage your finances early. The decisions you make now, such as electing how much to borrow in student loans, can affect you years after you graduate. Many students borrow more than what they may need while in college. This page will give you a closer look and help you understand the importance of a budget, deciding between wants and needs, and the repayment process.
Need additional resources? The Federal Student Aid website provides publications, fact sheets, videos and other resources to help you prepare and pay for college.
CashCourse can provide you with many educational resources including spending wisely, managing credit cards and paying for college.
Watch the video below and use this worksheet to develop a budget (PDF) and prepare yourself for a successful college career.
Federal Direct Loans
StudentAid.gov offers Financial Awareness Counseling that will help you understand your financial aid and how to manage your finances. If you decide to borrow Federal direct loans to help you meet the costs of your college education, you will complete Entrance Counseling. Entrance Counseling introduces to you loans and the responsibilities that coincide with accepting that loan. Federal student loans have fixed interest rates, repayment plans, no prepayment penalties and no credit checks (except PLUS Loans).
One thing to keep in mind when borrowing Federal Direct Loans are your loan limits. Your aggregate loan limit is the lifetime maximum total loan eligibility based on your academic level and degree program. There is also an annual loan limit based on your grade level, degree program, and if you are considered dependent or independent.
Review the Federal Direct Loan program loan limits
The National Student Loan Data System is an essential tool to monitor your federal loan borrowing. Visit the NSLDS site to view student loan history and loan servicer information. It is important to update your personal contact information with your loan servicer and your school to ensure you receive important repayment information.
Unlike scholarships or grants, a loan is borrowed money and must be repaid. Repayment options are available and will vary depending on the type of loan.
Following is a "Paying Back Student Loans" video from CashCourse. This video will give you an overview of repayment options including loan deferment, payments based on income and consequences of not paying your student loans.
For more information on managing your Federal student loans, repayment options and to figure out what your payment may be once you graduate, visit the Federal Student Aid site.
From a "College Cost Projector" to a "Pay as You Earn Loan Payment Calculator", visit www.finaid.org and utilize free tools to help you estimate your college expenses and staying on a budget.
Review Exit Counseling for important information for graduating students. Also, student loan borrowers who withdraw from Kent State University and do not return will be required to complete Exit Counseling.