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Academic year: 2021



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Ready. Set. Plan.

If planning for college sounds complicated, relax. No one expects you to be an

instant expert. That’s why PNC created the Cash for College Planner.

It’s simple to use and helps you every step of the way. You’ll learn when to start

the hunt for “free” money; how to fi gure out the real cost of school; the musts

for managing your money and more.

Each section is designed to help you stay on top of important events and give

you smart tips on keeping your bills paid—and money in your pocket. Follow

the planner, checking each box as you go, and you’ll stay on track.


As early as


Search for scholarships


Take the PSAT


Research schools

Take the SAT


Make campus visits

Get a summer job to

save cash for college


Save holiday cash gifts

for school

Getting Into College

The college application process requires a lot of coordination. But with a little planning,

you can keep it under control. Here are some things to think about, actions to take and

tips about everything from scholarships to understanding your Total Cost of Degree

(TCD). Stay organized by using the check boxes to mark completed items as you go.

Find Free Money

• Search out various sources • Beware of scams—like paying to apply for scholarships

• Remember, the money adds up— every $500 award counts

• Get a high score on your PSAT and you could earn a National Merit Scholarship or other awards • Open more doors to scholarship opportunities with good SAT scores

Scouting Campuses? Scout Costs, Too

• Look for special savings/student discounts

• Compare cost areas across different schools (Example: the cost of a hamburger, chemistry book, hotel room near campus, etc.)

Compare the Facts

• Figure out each school’s Total Cost of Degree (TCD)

• Know when applications are due (school, fi nancial aid) and what is required

• Get key contact names, school IDs for FAFSA/SATs, address information

Early in the


Keep researching



Take SAT again if


Narrow school selection,

get details on top choices

Apply to schools










Fill out your FAFSA

(as soon as possible

after January 1)


Receive acceptance



Review you student aid

report (SAR)

Review Aid Packages

Compare fi nal schools

based on their TCD and

then on fi nancial aid

Select school based on

performance AND

bottom-line cost


Celebrate high school


Continue saving cash

gifts for school


Cover freshman year

costs (deposits and

selecting aid)

Sign up for classes and


Defi ne budget for fi rst

semester (with parents)

Do back-to-school

Getting Ready for College

You’ve done a lot of hard work to get to this point—now set yourself up for success,

academically and fi nancially. Here are some ideas that will help you get ready to start

an amazing new phase of your life. Stay organized by using the check boxes to mark

completed items as you go.

Avoid Financial Surprises

• Check your Student Aid Report (SAR) for errors! Any problems with your SAR can make a big difference in the student aid your college offers you Money Management Musts

• Save cash gifts for college • Open a free checking account; understand how it works—terms, conditions, fees

• Research credit/debit cards that earn points; earn rewards for everyday purchases

• Consider online banking to manage checking, savings and bill paying The Money Trail

• Know the steps required to secure all education funding; are they required each year?

• Does the school require a deposit before registration?

• Know important dates and confi rm who is responsible for making sure money arrives on time (talk to parents) • Check school web sites to understand each school’s specifi c fi nancial aid process

• Sign master promissory note (MPN) with lender for any federal aid • Fill out required applications for any private loans

College Countdown

• Contact roommate to split purchases; buy small-size appliances that fi t into dorm room

• Use credit/debit card to earn reward points when shopping

• Make list of items to buy (check to see if the school has a suggested list) and look for sales

• Scout out inexpensive shopping spots







Take entrance

counseling for

government loans

Establish a realistic

budget and stick to it

Stash your cash - build

some reserves

Getting Through College

You’ll remember your college years as some of the best years of your life. And you can

make them even more enjoyable by avoiding a cash crunch. Check out some of the steps

along the way, and get some help from our Smart Money Tips. Many of them apply each

and every year, such as:

• Never stop searching for new sources of “free” money—cash from scholarships

and grants!

• Make sure your fi nancing is in place for each academic year:

- File your FAFSA for next year as soon as possible after January 1

- Complete steps to apply for federal loans

- Apply for any private loans you’ll need; some private loans provide funding for one

school year only

• Feed your savings. Even small amounts add up when you save on a regular basis.

• Stick to your budget.

Make Your College Budget Work

• It’s a balancing act—where can you save so you can splurge somewhere else?

• Limit credit card use and avoid carrying an unpaid balance

• Do a regular “budget reality check” with your parents. Talk about lessons

Search Out New Sources of Funding

• Set loose your inner entrepreneur— tutor other students for extra cash; turn a hobby into a money maker; sell your used textbooks

• Never stop your scholarship search —new ones are available every year





Research work-study

options (great for your


Build credit history

Begin to think about next

steps after college - go

for grad school or a job?



Apply for summer








Getting Through College (continued)

Decide what’s next!

Research job or grad

school opportunities

Network with recent


Review student loan

repayment options

Get ready for life after


Grad School or Job?

Ask Yourself These Questions

• What’s the total cost of an additional degree?

• How will graduate school provide a career advantage?

• What’s the cost of living going to be in your new hometown? What about employment options?

Know Before You Go

• Organize loan statements—know who gets paid, how much, and when the fi rst payments are due

• Remember, exit counseling is required for all federal loans

Visit Your Bank Branch

• Meet with branch manager before leaving campus; ask for advice • Take a look at products that will be helpful in getting established • Look at interest-bearing checking accounts and higher-yield savings plans & investment options




You’ll learn a lot in college, and smart money management could be one of your most

important lessons. Invest a bit of time now to learn the fi nancial basics. Get organized,

plan ahead and remember to ask for advice along the way. Instead of stressing about

how much it all costs, you’ll be able to focus on your education, having fun and an

exciting future with a strong fi nancial foundation.

If you have any questions to help you stay money-wise while in school, please don’t

hesitate to visit PNC online at




Web: pnconcampus.com Email: eduloans@pncbank.com


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