Money is one factor people consider when applying to college. With the need to pay for class essentials, the end of the semester can mark a time when one’s bank account is low.
Maryam Adagun, a sophomore from Houston, said it is difficult to have enough money by the end of the school year. She is responsible for acquiring her own school supplies, which makes it difficult to finish out the year with extra money.
“I pay for my own textbooks and school things that pertain to classes,” she said. “But I work when I’m not at school.”
Adagun does what she can to save money for the end of the year, utilizing the spare time she has not dedicated to school, she said.
When a person needs help saving money, one may utilize financial resources, whether they be on or off campus, that provide services and advice for money management.
According to the LendEDU website, Tech’s Red to Black is the number one college financial literacy program. Red to Black is a peer financial coaching service with instructors helping students with their finances.
Caitlin Innes, a sophomore from Seguin and Red to Black coach, said she and her co-workers aid students through giving presentations on money habits and financial adulting.
“The presentations are to help them gain a better understanding of their financial situation, because they need to know where it is and where it’s going,” she said.
Eloy Perez, a senior from Lubbock and a Red to Black peer financial coach, works one-on-one in private sessions to assist students in their financial struggles.
“We work to promote financial literacy,” he said, “and create an environment to ask questions about money, because a majority of Americans don’t have financial literacy.”
Perez defends regular college students and their financial needs, he said, and he understands college is an out-of-pocket expense that is not always easy to keep up with.
“We get so close to the end of school. We get excited and go crazy,” Perez said. “But that could also mean disregarding the budget set in place.”
Laura Scott, associate director of Tech Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, said her goal is to help students put themselves in the best position possible for the most financial aid, so they can avoid the lack of money at the end of the semester.
Scott said students do not have enough money by the end of the school year because of their poor management of finances.
“Many eat their aid by going out with friends a lot,” Scott said. “I’m not blaming these students, but we need to help the student understand how to manage their resources better so they can make decisions to ensure their money lasts throughout the term.”
Throughout the school year, Perez said it becomes harder to hang onto money. Student loans and other expenses can add up, and not everyone can successfully balance a job and school.
“Students like fast food and going out, and they should because that’s normal,” he said. “Students, especially with the loans their pulling out, they have to stretch that, especially if they don’t have a steady income.”
Regarding this issue, Adagun said she has to focus and maintain a good academic standing at the expense of having student debt and trying to handle a job on top of school.
“If you don’t have enough money, the only things you can really do are take out loans or get a job,” Innes said.
Planning out one’s financial plan, discovering how to bend the budget and helping a student make it to the end of the year without missing the fun things are all tasks Red to Black works to accomplish, Innes said.
“You want to tell your money where to go,” she said. “You don’t want your money telling you where to go.”