Category Archives: Trends on Campus

Important Credit Card Law Changes Parents & College Students Need to Know

Most American college students use credit cards. However, many young people don’t always handle them properly, and often face late fees, increased rates, and high balances. Many of the problems are due to a lack of knowledge, or simply not handling cards responsibly. Although many of these problems are the result of bad habits of young adults, consumer groups believe many of these issues are the result of practices of credit card companies. To help address this issue, Congress passed new laws to restrict the ways card companies handle credit card arrangements with consumers.

Credit card companies will be required to follow the guidelines:

The changes generally require credit card companies:
-to increase disclosures to card holders.
-to provide more lead time or advance notice when changing terms.
-to limit their marketing activities on or near college campuses.
-to require increased parental involvement in credit card activities of individuals under 21.

More detail of these new requirements and information on money issues affecting young adults and their parents are available on the website MoneyManagement101.org

Student Gambling at College Campuses

Gambling on college campuses is becoming a serious problem. With so many online gambling sites, as well as the proliferation of casinos around the country, it is fairly easy for a student to get in trouble.
Poker competitions are popular on television and have likely generated an increased interest in poker playing among young people. There is an excellent article by Steven Friess in the NYTimes about what college are (and are not) doing about this problem. College parents definitely need to be aware of the topic of student gambling problems.

Borrowing for College Impacting Students Futures

As a result of the increasing debt levels, college students are having to delay many life events.
The level of borrowing grew dramatically last year. The U.S. Education Department reports that student-loan disbursements—the amount borrowed by students and received by schools in the most recent school year jumped by about 25%.
These higher borrowing levels are likely due to the poor economic climate combined with the increasing costs of college. Estimates vary, however approximately two-thirds of students borrow to cover the costs of college. This percentage is significants higher than it was ten years ago. New grads are often cash strapped due to high student loan repayment requirements. As a result, they often have to delay personal milestones such as buying a house, starting a family, etc. This trend is likely to get worse for current college students.

Given the high costs of college and the common need to borrow, it is critically important for parents to make sure their student is using their student loans only for true educational costs. Unfortunately, too many students use loan proceeds to pay for lifestyle related costs and non-essentials.

We will be adding some posts with tips for lowering college costs and reducing student loan levels.

Credit Card Debt is climbing on Campuses

Due to increasing costs of college and tighter economic conditions, college students appear to using their credit cards for basic living costs, as well as books, fees, etc.
Credit Card debt levels of college students are at a historical high. Unfortunately, the interest cost on credit cards is generally much higher than other types of debt, such as student loans.
One of the leading causes dropping out of college is financial problems. When financially strapped, students tend to work more hours at their PT jobs to cover their expenses and debt. Unfortunately, their grades can suffer, or they are forced to drop classes.

College Students are often Clueless about Money Matters

Many College Students desperately need to learn money skills.

The list below represents typical quotes from college students on the topic of money matters. A basic understanding of money management is a critical part of the daily responsibilities of college and adult life. Although many of the statements seem comical to experienced adults, they illustrate why so many young people get into financial trouble. We suggest parents spend time teaching their students money skills, or provide them with a quick money management course as the one recommended below:

Money issues are probably the top reason students drop out of college. With that in mind, our Pick of the Month is the excellent course Money Management for Young Adults – this self study video & ebook course clearly explains essential money skills that college students need to understand.

Quote examples of College Students:
-Spending $1,000 using my new credit card is way cheaper than writing a $1,000 check, because I only have to pay back $20 per month.
-The bank must be wrong, my account can’t be overdrawn, I still have 10 checks left in my checkbook
-I think someone’s ripping me off on my first paycheck, who are these people FICA and FUTA, and why are they getting part of my paycheck
-I just got my first credit card, I love it, when this one’s full, I am going to apply for a couple more.
-I am already getting credit card applications in the mail, but my mom is too uptight to let me have one. Once I move out, I’m going to get a bunch of cards, and finally get some cool stuff.
-I am going to work 25 hours a week this summer and will make $8 an hour. I’ll be able to afford that new SUV, and still save tons of cash for college tuition.
-I make $80 a week at my part time job and buy lots of awesome stuff. My parents both work full time, but they’re so cheap, they never buy anything.
-Having a ton of student loans doesn’t really matter; by the time I have to pay them back, I’ll be making the big bucks.
-I don’t worry about filling out my income taxes, my dad always ends up doing it for me, I guess he likes doing it. He’s kind of weird that way.
– I heard that collection agencies can’t bother you until you’re out of college.
– If you never leave college, you never have to pay back your student loans.

College Freshmen – Lost Motivation – How to Overcome

By Talia Goren
For CollegeTipsForParents.org
College Student Talia provides the following tips which should be useful for college freshmen as well as college parents:

I’ve lost my motivation….What do I do?

The first semester in college is probably one of the hardest/most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. Not only is it a culture shock- as college life is totally different from anything else- but it’s also more work, more responsibility, and often completely different challenges than you were ever used to before.

So how do you stay motivated?

If you read my other article, I’ve always been a fan of writing lists. It doesn’t have to be in list form necessarily, but purely the act of writing something down helps people solidify their thoughts. What would you write exactly? Well for starters, pro’s and con’s. Think about what you truly enjoy about going to your school. Is it the teachers? Your classes? Maybe even your sorority or fraternity. Whatever makes you happy- write it down. When you’re feeling really unmotivated and questioning why on earth you decided to spend upwards $40,000 dollars for brain breaking work- look at this list!

Also, write down some of your goals for the next four years. Why did you decide to go to this school in the first place? If you’ve already done this, revise it, or rewrite it according to how you’re feeling now. Often just remembering a positive feeling that you had when you started something difficult is enough to offer motivation.

Don’t hesitate to share this with other people either. Whether it’s a professor, a fellow student, or even your parents (because you know they want to know, even if you don’t want to tell them- you’d be surprised at their good insight!) talk it out- both your negative and positive feelings.

Do these things as often as you feel you need to- repetition also helps solidify things in your brain. And who knows, maybe your lack of motivation means you need to change something. Rehashing all the details while looking back in time to the beginning of your college career can often help you decide.

End of part 1 of 2 More tips for college freshmen and other college students on staying motivated. Part 2, which will be posted shortly.

Colleges Delaying Freshmen Admissions to Spring

Many college applicants may only be offered admission at mid-year, instead of the fall. This is an increasing trend at colleges and universities.
Many schools are facing an increase in the number of qualified applicants. One of the reasons they offer the mid-year admission is smooth out campus populations. For example, to fill open spaces left by students who may have dropped out in December or graduated mid-year.

Some students may be disapointed that they were only offered admission in the mid-year semester. Faced with this situation, many students take fall classes at community colleges, which can transfer to their university. The delayed admission also provides time to save more tuition money by working at a full time job during the fall.

Are Parents Going Overboard Pampering their College Students ??

Chances are when you were a student living on campus, you shared a small apartment or dorm room with one, two, or three other students. College was the time where you had to learn to cook, clean, do laundry, and other household tasks.

There is a new trend on campuses across the US; students and parents are hiring companies to do cleaning, laundry, packing, etc. They are also hiring services that do grocery and food delivery. Instead of staying in campus dorms, or sharing apartments, parents are arranging for private apartments for their sons and daughters.

There is definitely sharp disagreement among parents about this latest trend. We tend to think that students should learn to do many of these tasks, and not rely on others. The alternative opinion is that students are a school to earn a degree, not be distracting with household responsibilities.

What do you think ????