You’ve decided on a college and sent in your enrollment deposit - now it’s time to organize your finances and prepare for your move. Moving away to college may be the first time you’re living on your own and making your own financial decisions every day. Here’s how you can prepare:
- Discuss finances with your parents to develop a financial plan and better understand your own responsibilities. Do you have scholarships, grants, private loans or savings?
- Accept your financial aid offer if you received one. Remember, you can appeal your offer to increase aid if necessary. Don’t forget that you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) every year.
- Complete your student loan paperwork if you need a loan before the semester starts.
- Call the college and ask about available on-campus jobs. There may be work-study opportunities or part-time jobs you can consider.
- Create a budget to ensure your basic needs will be covered (books, food, events, fees, etc.).
- Set up a checking and savings account if you don’t already have one. Some banks offer checking accounts with low fees and overdraft protection. Check out Advancial’s Ultimate Checking account for no monthly service fee and unlimited free ATMs.
Preparing for your move
- Start shopping and packing. Think about what you’ll need to bring, where to purchase items and how you’ll pack it.
- Get to know your roommate in advance and coordinate with them about who’s bringing what.
- Make a shopping list. Most colleges have move-in must-have lists on their websites.
- Consider stores that ship to dorms so you don’t have to pack items that take up a lot of space, like bedding and refrigerators.
Do you have questions about student loans, checking and savings accounts or any other financial matters? We’re here to help. Visit us online at advancial.org/dineroteens
for helpful information.
Money management tips for college
All accounts subject to approval. Restrictions and limitations apply
- Use a banking or budgeting app to keep track of your spending.
- If you were offered financial aid in the form of loans, you don’t have to accept the entire package - you can take out a smaller loan.
- Always ask for a college student discount!
- Work to earn extra cash. If you can manage work and your studies, you can earn some money to put toward early loan payments.