Sent on the last Thursday of each month, the Counseling Newsletter provides extra guidance and information to assist you during the university application process. Please read each issue carefully. The newsletter is also shared with your parents and teachers, and it can be used to help create more dialogue about your future.
We love this time of the year!
Universities keep on sending positive news to our Seniors. It is very rewarding indeed to see the joy and sense of relief expressed by students as they share the good news with each other. Please continue stopping by your counselor’s office to share the joy.Your teachers love hearing about your offers as well.
This issue has a special focus on budgeting which will be a new and important skill for seniors to develop this year.
Kind regards, The High School Counselors
Sharing University Acceptances with the Community
Some of you may have been wondering about our university numbers so far this year. SFS has made a considered decision not to share early acceptances during the year. We want to give Seniors the time to process, grieve and celebrate with your fellow SFS Grade 12 peers and with your families before we share results with the larger community.
Seniors sent 160 early applications to US universities - and then almost 1000 regular applications to countries around the world. Many universities are extremely selective so it's inevitable that not every application can be successful. By April 1 we will have most university offers in and Seniors will make their decisions for US universities by May 1. We look forward to sharing acceptances with the community in May.
Seniors, please remember to go back to your short-list on Naviance (universities I'm applying to) and update the status for each of your universities as soon as you get a response.
After the final decision has been made...
When you have made a final decision regarding which university you will be attending, please email the other universities’ admission offices to decline their offers. This will not only help your fellow SFS Grade 12 peers, but it will help students around the world as well as they can then get access to your space. (Note that this is not needed for UK universities where you respond to your offers through UCAS). BE SURE TO READ ANY AND ALL EMAILS A UNIVERSITY SENDS YOU! THE EMAIL COULD INCLUDE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HOUSING, DEPOSITS, MISSING DOCUMENTS, ETC!!
After the college decisions have been announced, seniors often go through a “senior slump.” You have been accepted and you feel high school performance is no longer important. Beware! The fine print on the acceptance letter will probably say that your acceptance is contingent upon continued progress during your senior year. Each year, some students have acceptances revoked, are put on probation in college or have to attend summer school at the university due to final semester grades. Don’t let this happen to you.
Budgeting for College Students: Where to Start
This and next week, the HS Counselors are offering a Seminar session to seniors on Budgeting in University. In this session, students predict what kind of expenses they can expect during their time in college and they learn how to keep a budget. We encourage parents to have conversations with their children about budgeting and what kind of financial support they will give to them while they are in college. Below is an article (and useful links) by Lauren Schwahn that relates well to the discussions we have with students in this round of seminars. College marks a significant transition period for many young adults It’s a time of newfound freedom and the financial responsibilities that come with it. Whether your funds come from family, student loans, scholarships or your own wallet, you’ll need to budget for expenses like textbooks, housing and, yes, a social life. Knowing who’s footing the bill, what costs to expect and which ones you can live without — ideally before school starts — can reduce stress and help you form healthy financial habits for the future.
Have the money talk Before you build a budget, go over some important details with the people — parents, guardians or a partner — who will be involved in financing your education. Discussing your situation together will ensure everyone is in the loop and understands expectations. “One of the biggest obstacles we have with teaching young people financial literacy and financial skills is not making money and expenses a taboo subject,” says Catie Hogan, founder of Hogan Financial Planning LLC. “Open lines of communication are far and away the most important tool, just so everyone’s on the same page as far as what things are going to cost and how everybody can keep some money in their pocket.” Here are some topics to start with:
Who is paying for college and how. Have a conversation before the start of each school year to decide if your family will pay for costs out-of-pocket or if you’ll need to get a job, rely on financial aid, use funds from a 529 plan or combine these options.
What expenses to expect. In addition to tuition, you’ll have to budget for other college costs, like transportation and school supplies. Make a list of likely expenses, estimate the cost and agree who pays for what. (See more on expenses below.)
FAFSA and taxes. Whether a parent or guardian claims you as a dependent or you file taxes on your owndetermines whose information is required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and who can claim tax credits and deductions. Discuss your financial status before each school year and address any changes, like a raise or job loss.
Credit cards and bank accounts. If you’re considering opening a credit card account for the first time, are younger than 21 and don’t work full time, you’ll need a co-signer: a parent or other adult. You’ll want to talk about ground rules, like only using a credit card for emergencies and defining what constitutes an emergency. Approach new financial products with caution and be careful not to take on debt. If you plan to directly deposit funds from a job or allowance, look for a checking account that offers low (or no) fees.
Anticipate your expenses To determine what you’ll spend each term, keep these college-related expenses on your radar:
Textbooks and school supplies. Course materials could eat up a large chunk of your budget. The average estimated cost of books and supplies for in-state students living on campus at public four-year institutions in 2016-2017 was $1,250, according to the College Board. Also plan for purchases like notebooks, a laptop, a printer and a backpack, and read the do’s and don’ts of back-to-school shopping for money-saving tips.
Room and board. When it comes to food and living arrangements, weigh your options. Compare the cost of living on campus and getting a meal plan versus renting an apartment and shopping for groceries.
Transportation. Will you take a bus, bike or walk to and from campus or work? If you absolutely need a car, be prepared to cover gas, maintenance and insurance.
Clothing. Budget for seasonal clothing and job-fair outfits.
Discretionary spending. You deserve a break from studying. Leave room in your budget for fun stuff like entertainment, travel and social activities.
Track your spending and cut back where you can The basic principles of budgeting, like living below your means, still apply regardless of the source of your funds. Whether you make money from side gigs, receive help from your parents or get financial aid— or all of the above — figure out how much money flows in and out. You don’t have to go through a grueling process, like filling out a spreadsheet every day; you’ll have enough homework. Just set aside some time at least once a month to review your money situation. Budgeting apps and online banking can help make the process more manageable. “Just knowing that you can log into your online banking and take inventory of what you have and the income coming in, I think that’s more than enough,” Hogan says. Once you start to monitor spending, you can decide where to save money. Identify your needs and wants and reduce spending on things that aren’t essential. Start with the common culprits: food and fun. “Looking at what is the least expensive meal plan you can get without going hungry is a big money-saving tip,” Hogan says. “And a lot of campus activities and groups and all that [are] really great, but they can weigh really heavy on your budget, so don’t overcommit.”
Keep your future self in mind If you’ve managed to stay afloat as a student, you’re in good shape. Continue on a financially healthy path by thinking about life after graduation. If you’re working and able to build a cushion, set financial goals, like creating an emergency fundor saving for a trip — and don’t forget about any student loans you might have to pay offafter graduation. “You obviously don’t want to burden yourself so much that you have anxiety about it while you’re in college, but I think having a healthy grasp of reality … is helpful in terms of knowing what kind of lifestyle you can really afford to live in college,” says Kyle Moore, a certified financial planner in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Author: Lauren Schwahn Lauren is a personal finance writer at NerdWallet. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The Associated Press. Source:: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/budgeting-for-college-students/