Invest In Your Future

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Account | Loans | Support

A c c o u n t | L o a n s | S u p p o r t

S T U D E N T LO A N S . G O V

Create Your Own Path REGISTER

Invest In Your Future

Investing in yourself and your education may be the most profitable investment you ever make. Take the first steps to inform yourself about what educational options are available to you after you graduate highschool.

Sign up for an account to planning your future

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Who We Are

Studentloans.gov is part of Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education which is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. We are proud to sponsor and help guide millions of American minds pursuing their educa- tional dreams.

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Create Your Own Path Sign up for an account to planning your future REGISTER

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Create Your Own Path Sign up for an account to planning your future REGISTER

What We Do

We inform students and families about the availability of all the federal student aid programs and the process for applying for and receiving aid from these programs.

The resources we provide are readily available to help students make wiser deci- sions with both obtaining and managing their student loans.

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PUBLIC

36,000 124,000 18,000

Semester Year Graduation

14,000 56,000 7,000

Semester Year

14,000

Year Graduation

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As you make plans for your future, spend some time considering what it is you want to do with your life, what you want to accom- plish long-term. As with any major decision, you’ll want to consider all your options, compare costs and benefits of attending one college over another. Think about what’s most important to you and which school can provide it. College doesn’t ensure happiness or success, but its opens up a lot of doors and helps create more opportunities.

How do I pay for college?

Have you been thinking about going to college but don’t know you’ll be able to afford it? Cost should be a consider- ation when you’re deciding where to go to college, but it shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your goal of attend- ing and graduating from college.

Should I go to college?

Sometimes when students wonder, “why should I go to college,” they are actually just nervous about picking the right one. There isn’t necessarily a “best” college. Each college or school offers a different experience and unique educational opportunities.

Trade Schools Junior Colleges Universities

Trade schools, also known as technical, vocational, or career schools may be public or private, although many are for-profit businesses; typically offer programs that are two years or less; and provide students with formal classes and hands-on experience related to their future career interests.

This learning module will cover information you need to know about Trade Schools.

Community colleges and junior colleges award associate degrees once students have successfully completed a two-year course of study. Some two-year colleges grant diplo- mas or certificates of completion to students who have met course requirements and are ready to practice in their career fields.

This learning module will cover information you need to know about Junior Colleges.

A college usually offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in the arts (such as English, history, drama) or sciences (such as biology, comput- er science, engineering). Some colleges also offer advanced degrees, such as master’s or other graduate degrees, after you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree.

This learning module will cover information you need to know about Universities.

L E A R N I N G M O D U L E S

Links

TRADE SCHOOLS INFO TechnicalSchools.org trade-schools.net

COMMUNITY COLLEGE INFO aacc.nche.edu

thebestschools.org UNIVERSITY INFO thebestcolleges.org 50states.com/college TUITION LINKS

bigfuture.collegeboard.org collegedata.com

tuitiontracker.org

Contact Us

Phone Number Email

Live Chat

Glossary

ACADEMIC YEAR

A period of time schools use to measure a period of study. Contact your financial aid office for information on how your school defines Academic Year.

FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE

The types and amounts of financial aid (federal and non-federal) a student is offered by the school to help pay educational costs.

TUITION

A charge for teaching/instruction at an institution (e.g. the rental or purchase of equipment (including equipment for instruction by telecommunications), materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study).

Resources

“I went to community college and I absolutely don’t regret it.”

- Brittany Smith, Recent Graduate

MODULE 1 COMPLETED ! COMPLETE MODULE 2 COMPLETE MODULE 3

C H A P T E R 2

C O N S I D E R A T I O N

Click on the icons on the interactive module on the right to learn more about your options after high school.

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Life Financial Career

For most people who have student loans, their experience will involve significant chang- es in their life during their college years. The decisions students often make before and during the student loan process could poten- tially delay their future plans.

This learning module will cover: delaying marriage, homeownership, and retirement.

Taking on student loans can have a a crucial impact on student’s spending habits and finances. Having a full understanding of the need to balance finances early on will help students not only make wiser decisions but avoid future financial predicaments as well.

This learning module will cover: credit cards, credit scores, and dealing with debt.

The idea of obtaining student loans and thier debt might have the potential to steer some students in the direction of higher paying jobs even before entering their college of choice.

There are numbers of research when it comes to making decisions for career choices.

This learning module will cover: salary, job market, and cost of living.

L E A R N I N G M O D U L E S

The quintessential American dream may include graduating college, getting a job and eventually buying a home. However, the increasing cost of student loan debt may be altering that trajectory for many college students.

How will student loans impact my current life?

Taking out student loans should not be seen as a daunting task, but as a student you will have to make wise decisions knowing how they will impact your current life. As a student you will need to know how to manage your finances and bor- row only what you absolutely need, and restrict your spending to “needs” and not “wants”.

How will student loans impact my future life?

Many students who take out student loans sometimes do not think about how their current actions will affect their future. Some students often come to the realiza- tion of delaying their decisions to buy a home, get mar- ried, have children, save for retirement, and enter a desired career field because of their student loan debt.

“College gave me the experience I needed for my future and success.”

- Brittany Smith, Marisa Dobrev

Resources

MODULE 1 COMPLETED ! COMPLETE MODULE 2 COMPLETE MODULE 3

C H A P T E R 3

I M P A C T

Click on the icons on the interactive module on the right to learn more about the impact of studen loan debt.

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- Students will need to learn how to properly

and wisely save their money while taking on student loans. Students do not need to spend all of their student loan cash when they can save some for the following semester or put it in their savings.

This learning module will cover: savings &

checking accounts, different ways of savings, and fixed and variable interests.

With student loans, living with a budget will help students learn to keep their finances under control, and will show them when to make adjustments to their spending. Not only will budgeting help with paying off debt, but it may help keep life in balance in the long run.

This learning module will cover: managing a monthly budget, tracking your spending, and finding ways to cut back on expenses.

Having student loans does not mean that a student will have to completely give up their leisurely activities due to a limited financial budget. There are several ways that can help students enjoy entertainment such as going to the movies and not break the bank.

This learning module will cover: student discounts, coupon tips, and eating out on a planned budget.

A student loan is often the first large sum of money a young adult must manage themselves. Avoiding common money mistakes when it comes to financing your college education is crucial to graduating with only good debt and as little of it as possible.

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Saving Budgeting Leisure

L E A R N I N G M O D U L E S

What should I spent my student loan money on?

Unlike the money you may have received from a scholarship or grant, your student loan money will eventually need to be paid back. It can be tempting to splurge a little, especially as a student who has been strapped for cash the last few

weeks, but as a student you need to realize that it might not be the wisest decison after graduation.

What should I not spend my student loan money on?

It’s never a wise idea to use your student loan money to cover items that aren’t necessary for your education or daily living expenses. There’s no need to purchase cable or satellite television, or splurge on the newest MacBook Pro, when there are more practical alternatives. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it.

“Budgeting will save you time and money in the long run.”

- Brandon Miller, Product Manager

Resources

MODULE 1 COMPLETED ! COMPLETE MODULE 2 COMPLETE MODULE 3

C H A P T E R 2

U S E

Click on the icons on the interactive module on the right to learn more on the uses of student loans.

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Cost of Living 3

What does cost of living mean?

Cost of living is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living. Changes in the cost of living over time are often operationalized in a cost of living index. A cost-of-living index is a theoretical price index that measures relative cost of living over time or regions. It is an index that measures differences in the price of goods and services, and allows for substitutions with other items as prices vary.

How does cost of living impact my career choices?

Costs vary depending on region, size of city, and at times, the length of stay. You may be considering working for Company X in Atlan- ta, Georgia as well as Company Y in Boston, Massachusetts. At this point your ideal steps would be to first and foremost compare the two job offers and their salaries. Does one have a higher starting salary, but offer more benefits than the other (such as a compa- ny car, credit card, fuel reimbursement, etc.)? If they are both very similar as far as starting salary goes, you then want to compare the cost of living in that city. A salary offer of $60,000 a year maybe great in one location, but in actuality quite low when factoring in cost-of-living in another.

What is a job market?

A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs.

The job market is not a physical place as much as a concept demonstrating the com- petition and interplay between different labor forces. The job market can grow or shrink depending on the labor demand and supply within the overall economy, specif- ic industries, for specific education levels or specific job functions.

Breaking down ‘job market’

The job market is directly related to the unemployment rate. The higher the unem- ployment rate, the greater the supply of labor in the overall job market. When employ- ers have a larger pool of applicants to choose from, they can be pickier or force down wages. As the unemployment rate drops employers are forced to compete more heavi- ly for available workers, which has the effect of increasing wages.

Entering the job market after graduation

Graduating from college and entering the job market is an exciting time. You have many new decisions to make as you search for a job and continue on the path to building your future. You probably feel accomplished now that you’ve graduated from college, but in the back of your mind you may still have that nagging uncertainty of whether or not you’ll be able to find a job in your field.

The Job Market 2

Go through the module to learn more about the impact of student loan debt on career choices. This section willcover materials over salary, job market, and cost of living.

How do career choices affect salary? Studies prove, time and again, that college-educated workers earn more than those with only a high school diploma. College graduates often enjoy additional benefits, including greater job opportunities and promotions.

Salary 1

The Best Places to Live and Work In

Explore Career Scenarios

Quiz 3.3

L E A R N I N G M O D U L E

Career

C H A P T E R 3 : I M P A C T

TAKE THE QUIZ

Take the quiz to test your knowledge before proceeding to the next module.

As you contemplate where you want to live, what kind of job you would like, or even what industry, you will want to research average salaries and cost of living. The cost of living is crucial to making a fully informed job search decision, and many times students forget to take that into account.

The salary for your career can vary based on where you live.

Watch the video to learn more about the current list of best cities to live and work in.

EXPLORE

Explore the Market

Explore the job market and median salary by each cities based on your choice of career

Communication Design

Texas

Austin, TX

CHOSEN CAREER

SELECT A STATE

SELECT A CITY

NATIONAL REGIONAL

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What is a job market?

A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs.

The job market is not a physical place as much as a concept demonstrating the com- petition and interplay between different labor forces. The job market can grow or shrink depending on the labor demand and supply within the overall economy, specif- ic industries, for specific education levels or specific job functions.

Breaking down ‘job market’

The job market is directly related to the unemployment rate. The higher the unem- ployment rate, the greater the supply of labor in the overall job market. When employ- ers have a larger pool of applicants to choose from, they can be pickier or force down wages. As the unemployment rate drops employers are forced to compete more heavi- ly for available workers, which has the effect of increasing wages.

Entering the job market after graduation

Graduating from college and entering the job market is an exciting time. You have many new decisions to make as you search for a job and continue on the path to building your future. You probably feel accomplished now that you’ve graduated from college, but in the back of your mind you may still have that nagging uncertainty of whether or not you’ll be able to find a job in your field.

The Job Market 2

Cost of Living 3

BACK TO SEARCH

Austin

T E X A S

Average Income for Communication Design:

NATIONAL REGIONAL

AUSTIN DALLAS HOUSTON SAN ANTONIO

$57,420

$55,082

$44,838

$43,794

Job Growth for Communication Design:

7%

AUSTIN

8% DALLAS 6% HOUSTON 6% SAN ANTONIO

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Let’s Get Started!

Savings is often the first large sum of money a young adult must manage themselves.

Avoiding common money mistakes when it comes to financing your college education is crucial to graduating with only good debt and as little of it as possible.

Quiz : Saving

When must you begin to pay-back your student loans?

Hint

Until you are employed After graduation

You do not have to pay loans back Beginning of Freshman Year

Question 1

N E X T P R E V I O U S

Submit

Finished!

Final Score

80

You Missed Questions

1,3

Review Missed Questions

Question 1

Question 2

You Answered

You Answered Correct Answer

Correct Answer

When must you begin to pay-back your student loans?

What should you do when receiving extra grant money?

You do not have to pay loans back You do not have to pay loans back

Go to the movies. Consider a savings account.

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