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How Not To Blow Your Refund Check (1477 hits)

By Masani Bailey:

It was the fall semester of 2010. I was a freshman at Florida A&M University with both newfound funds and newfound freedom. Rick Ross’ B.M.F. was the number 1 song on the radio and after waiting for my net check a grueling month and a half after my scheduled disbursement date I was ready to ball. I thought I was “Big Meech,” Larry Hoover—But I wasn’t . Three months, one homecoming, and a holiday season later, I had balled too hard. Every semester, students anticipate their financial aid refund, also known as a “net-check” to “drop,” that is to say, to add a few zeros to their bank accounts. But are we abusing this money? With interest rates doubling for student loans, I asked students about their experiences with their net-checks and tips on how not-to blow it.

For college students, the impulse to spend is natural, but if left untamed it can cost you later. Kenya Strickland, a third year African American Studies major, says that spending and saving is a balancing act. “I know you want to look fresh for the set and get tickets to every party but you're going to be looking rather sad once the partying is over and all you have left are these material items looking back at you.”

Charnise Sanders believes that saving for necessities is imperative. Sanders, a third year pre-physical therapy major, stressed the importance of saving for food: “You will definitely regret it when your flex-bucks run out and you’re tired of café food and you can’t afford groceries.”

So why is it so important to save? As of July first. the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are set to double from 3.4 percent to a whopping 6.8 percent. Where does this leave students? It leaves them under immense pressure to find jobs to pay the loans back upon graduating in this less than impressive job market. Keisha McCleod, a fourth year food science and theatre major, takes umbrage with the doubling interest rates. “I don’t think it’s fair! School is already expensive,” she says.

Simply put, it is in a college student’s best interest to save and spend wisely in today’s—or in any economy. Joshua Riggins, a second year journalism major, offers logical advice to students: “Save and invest, don’t just waste it.”
Posted By: Elynor Moss
Monday, April 15th 2013 at 4:02PM
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