Sallie Mae Survey Shows Families are Paying More for College Educations
by Amie Kabera, age 16
According to Danielle Douglas of The Washington Post, parents are relying more and more on their annual income to pay for their children's college educations.
A survey conducted by national financial company Sallie Mae revealed perhaps surprising results. In 2014, families with children in college spent an average of $24,164 on tuition and books, a 16 percent jump from the previous year and the highest jump since 2010.
Most families of students who participated in the survey--62%--did not borrow money to pay for college in 2015. However, the student survey-takers themselves borrowed nearly three quarters of the total cost for their college education. Seventy-four percent of students surveyed worked through the school year to help cover the costs for college. [read more]
College Textbooks Don't Have to Put You in the Red
by Enjoyiana Nururdin, age 17
Today's average college student spends up to $1,000 a year on textbooks. Most students also cover other expenses such as room, board, phone bill, laundry, and car payments; tuition alone can cost an additional $10,000 to $70,000 a year. So while it can be tempting not to pay for a bunch of glossy pages you may never use again, purchasing a textbook is a smart investment. It's just how you make the purchase that makes all the difference.
A recent study completed by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group showed that seven out of 10 college students “had not purchased a textbook at least once because they found the cost too high.” These students understand that textbooks are an important part of college, but they cite textbooks as too big of a financial burden, especially when already struggling to pay for college on their own.
Even though it may seem like there is no solution to the rising costs of textbooks, there are alternatives to spending nearly $1,000 per year on them. One solution many college students adopt to avoid the cost of textbooks is not to buy them; this is not a smart idea, however. Professors typically assume that by signing up for a class, a student is accepting the fact that he or she will need to purchase a textbook to understand the course's content. Textbooks are needed to complete homework assignments; failure to complete homework results in a lack of understanding and can ultimately cause students to fail a class. Purchasing a textbook may be costly, but not as costly as failing a class and having to re-pay to take the same course again in order to graduate. [read more]
Did You Know the Income Tax Started in Wisconsin?
by Deney Li, age 14
Ever since World War II, all U.S. citizens have been required to pay income taxes. The income tax affects many states including Wisconsin and targets many top-earning businesses. This has led to an expansion of the national tax system over time.
Wisconsin created an individual income tax in 1911, thus becoming the first state to have such a law. There was much argument in the legislature about this tax, which initially required citizens to pay one percent of their annual incomes above $1,000 and six percent on incomes above $12,000. The Wisconsin tax did not affect many people at the time, however, because most did not make the $1,000 cut and were therefore “tax exempt.” But, the tax was still protested against by big businesses, who saw it as a money leech. Some businesses even threatened to leave the state.
The federal government soon caught on to the income tax idea. In 1913, the U.S. Congress levied a national income tax that affected less than 10 percent of the American population at the time. The tax eventually expanded due to the nation's financial needs during World War II. [read more]
Adolescentes pueden obtener tarjetas recargables, con la supervisión de sus padres
por Mariana Gómez, 16 años
Las tarjetas de crédito son difíciles de obtener. Por eso es importante que se usen responsablemente para no quedar en deudas.
TD Go es una tarjeta de prepago recargable creada especialmente para los jóvenes. La tarjeta se puede usar como si fuera una tarjeta de crédito o de débito, excepto que es más fácil de obtener. Los padres pueden abrir una cuenta y meter dinero en las tarjetas TD Go por el Internet usando una tarjeta de débito o de crédito. Los padres también pueden supervisar por Internet los gastos que sus hijos acumulan usando la tarjeta. Se puede recibir notificaciones cada vez que se use.
Cuando se saca una tarjeta de crédito, es importante poner atención sobre cualquier cambio que pueda afectar a la cuenta. También es importante pagar la cantidad que se debe completamente, y a tiempo. Si no se puede pagar lo que se debe al final del mes, es importante pagar tan siquiera la mitad de lo que se debe para que el interés no duplique el costo. Al contrario, las tarjetas TD Go no acumulan interés porque son de prepago. [read more]
Recent Financial Literacy Articles
In an effort to reach underserved young people and diversify their pool of applicants, Edgewood College recently created a program that would encourage diversity among its college students. To learn more about this program—the “Edgewood College Math Precollege Program”—Simpson Street Free Press reporters interviewed Steven Post, professor of Mathematics at Edgewood. [read more...]
High school graduates looking for a trade career face a difficult decision: spend thousands of dollars on a college degree or seek jobs without the degree. Despite the fact that employers may expect a degree, there’s still hope for those planing to forgo college. Apprenticeship programs are taking the nation by storm, and allow students to get an education while also gaining valuable experience. [read more...]
In a whirlwind of college preparation, student loans are often a confusing element of an already stressful journey. From subsidized to unsubsidized loans and FAFSA to payment plans, there are many facets about the student loan process of which those applying should be aware. [read more...]
Would you hand an 18-year old $400 dollars and trust that they would spend it responsibly and pay it back within a month? Well that’s exactly what the nation’s economy is forcing teenagers to do. Opening a credit card is a big step towards adulthood and towards managing your finances, but it’s important that young adults know the risks of credit cards. [read more...]
This coming December, a new branch of Summit Credit Union will open on Monona Drive. It will be the 34th Summit location. [read more...]
According to Danielle Douglas of The Washington Post, parents are relying more and more on their annual income to pay for their children's college educations. [read more...]
Can you imagine getting paid six million dollars to say three words? Well that’s exactly the deal Justin Timberlake made with McDonalds when he sang the catchphrase, “I'm Lovin' It.” But what effect does this advertising have on this food chain's young audience? [read more...]
One in three Latino, African American, and single parent households in the Dane County struggle to get enough nutritional food, according to a report by Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC). For in contrast, white households in Dane County, about 20 percent face food insecurities. These numbers represent hunger problems for our families here in Madison. [read more...]
Las tarjetas de crédito son difíciles de obtener. Por eso es importante que se usen responsablemente para no quedar en deudas.
TD Go es una tarjeta de prepago recargable creada especialmente para los jóvenes. La tarjeta se puede usar como si fuera una tarjeta de crédito o de débito, excepto que es más fácil de obtener. Los padres pueden abrir una cuenta y meter dinero en las tarjetas TD Go por el Internet usando una tarjeta de débito o de crédito. Los padres también pueden supervisar por Internet los gastos que sus hijos acumulan usando la tarjeta. Se puede recibir notificaciones cada vez que se use. [read more...]
Today's average college student spends up to $1,000 a year on textbooks. Most students also cover other expenses such as room, board, phone bill, laundry, and car payments; tuition alone can cost an additional $10,000 to $70,000 a year. So while it can be tempting not to pay for a bunch of glossy pages you may never use again, purchasing a textbook is a smart investment. It's just how you make the purchase that makes all the difference. [read more...]
Ever since World War II, all U.S. citizens have been required to pay income taxes. The income tax affects many states including Wisconsin and targets many top-earning businesses. This has led to an expansion of the national tax system over time. [read more...]
Would you believe that the worst gifts are the gifts that took the most thought? According to an article in The Washington Post, they are. So, next time you are buying a gift, think of this.
Research done by Mary Steffel, an assistant professor from the University of Cincinnati, shows that the more thought you put in to a present, the less probable it is that the recipient will like it. Besides, most gift purchases are motivated by the personality of the recipient rather than their desire for a particular gift. [read more...]
Did you know that you, yes you, can help own a credit union? I learned this the other day when I visited Summit Credit Union to open my very own account.
About four months ago, I began to work at Simpson Street Free Press. In the newsroom, I kept hearing the phrase “financial literacy.” I didn’t know what this meant, so I asked my editor Deidre. [read more...]
Capitalism is an economic system wherein private owners control industry, and trade goods and services to make a profit. Capitalism originated in Western Europe and spread for years until it engulfed the whole continent. In the early modern world (1500-1800), Europe dominated the globe economically due to colonialist exploration of western lands and eastern trade routes. Those European traders were merchant capitalists. [read more...]
Learning how to save money, using credit cards and safely navigating the internet is essential for teenagers to become fiscally responsible adults. [read more...]
In a day and age where few college students can secure jobs before graduating, student loans are increasingly scary. In fact, college students average thousands of dollars in debt. And with today’s grim job market, these loans can’t help but make you question: is a college education really worth it? [read more...]
When I first walked into Simpson Street Free Press about six months ago, I couldn't believe it. There were young people of all ages, colors, and backgrounds working in a newsroom. And working really hard. This group of kids produces five publications, including the bilingual newspaper La Prensa. SSFP students also organize book clubs, do geography quizzes, and hold vocab contests. At first I was a little intimidated, but now I actually think it’s fun.
My point is this: none of this would be possible without United Way of Dane County. [read more...]
We've all been there. You're at the store and see something you want, but you have no money. You're impecunious. [read more...]
As college tuition rates continue to climb, many prospective and current college students are feeling the pressure of costly higher education. However, there are many creative ways to save for college. [read more...]
As a former student at the Simpson Street Free Press, I was frequently told that I needed to learn how to manage my money well once I was in college. Being able to afford higher education is a challenge that involves seeking scholarships, taking loans, and paying attention to money management. [read more...]
The United States' federal student loan debt has surpassed one trillion dollars, a figure larger than that of national credit card borrowing. This is significant for many young Americans, especially those age 19-29, because student loan debt is 421% higher than the debt of other age groups. Recent research conducted at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine indicated there may be a link between high debt and poor health. [read more...]
The teen years are for a lot of things. You can have fun, hang out with friends, and attend school. But one of the most important things you can do is to learn to manage your money and plan ahead for college. It’s crucial that you start this process early. [read more...]
Graduating college is a significant milestone in life. In most cases it marks the end of an age; scholastic education is over and a professional career begins. While many students find it exciting to be on the cusp of “adulthood,” a good portion are burdened by debt. And now, after graduation, they also face the stress that comes with debt. [read more...]
There are different types of money all over the world, each with its own distinct design and value. With so many types of currency today, it’s hard to believe that there was a time before paper bills or coins. Agricultural products; strings and beads; animals; other goods; and services were traded among people before the advent of money. [read more...]
2014 La Follette graduate Khaleah Monger received the Summit Faust Scholarship at the Boys & Girls Club Hearts for Helping event earlier this spring. This $5,000 continuing-education award is given annually to eligible high school seniors. Awardees must also be members of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and of either STAR Credit Union or its sponsor company, Summit Credit Union. [read more...]
Jean Chatzky, a financial journalist, author and motivational speaker, published Money Rules, a book of guidelines for managing money. The book contains simplified rules with easy to understand explanations. It follows a list-like outline with organized topics including “Saving Money” and “Do’s and Don’ts.” The book is one of the most essential things to own. [read more...]
Amid national discussion over interest rates on federal student loans, and the mounting problem of student loan debt, University of Wisconsin System passed a tuition freeze to take place this academic year. This means that for the 2013-14 year, costs of tuition will remain the same as the previous school year. The freeze will apply to in-state and out-of-state undergraduates along with graduate students. Therefore, the change will affect all UW System students. Lawmakers wrote the tuition freeze into the 2013-15 state budget that was passed by Governor Scott Walker. [read more...]
As a recent high school graduate, I understand the importance of education. There is a clear correlation between the unemployment rate, salary earned, and the level of education a person receives. The future of our economy depends on educated people. [read more...]
For a lot of young people in high school, managing money can be difficult and confusing. Luckily, there is an online tool called Save Up that helps you manage your money and become more financially aware. [read more...]
After a successful year at LaFollette High School, Summit Credit Union will open another school-based facility. This credit union will be at Memorial High School. Among its purposes will be to safely deposit lunch money and salary from after-school jobs. [read more...]
To all high school students: college applications are not the last important task of senior year. In an age when college is more expensive, financial aid is becoming more limited. Now, more than ever, it is important to be on top of your scholarship and financial aid applications. [read more...]
As the school year draws to a close, and many seniors prepare for college, parents and students alike have one burning question: “how in the world am I going to pay for this?” [read more...]
In today’s difficult economy, it is more and more important for young people to be savvy with their money by learning how to spend it wisely, how to budget, and how to save. [read more...]
Now, more than ever, it is important for high school students to plan ahead for college. Secondary education is a necessary but costly endeavor. That is why many financially savvy students choose to enroll in 2-year transfer programs. Two-year schools help you fulfill degree requirements, and then transfer to a 4-year college to receive a bachelor’s degree. [read more...]
College applications have been sent. Acceptance letters are beginning to circulate. And before you know it, graduating seniors will be off to college, experiencing a new kind of independence. But with that newfound independence comes a load of new responsibilities; one very important responsibility is how to practice safe credit card use. [read more...]
Along with several other Free Press reporters, and I recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview MetLife Financial Planner, Camille Carter. As a financial planner with over 13 years of experience, Carter has a lot of knowledge about finances. We discussed financial literacy and she shared a lot of interesting information with us. [read more...]
It is getting more difficult for teens to find part-time or summer employment. During recent years, the percentage of unemployment over the summer has increased among teenagers between the age of 16 and 19. The average summer unemployment rate rose from 13 percent in 2000 to 15.8 percent in 2007. Many more teens have reported not being able to secure the type of employment that would help them save for college. [read more...]
During fall of senior year many high school students begin applying for the colleges of their choice. It is a lengthy process that involves writing a personal essay and submitting applications. [read more...]
As a junior in high school, I have many decisions to make regarding college. A major factor in my decision will be tuition costs. I am not alone. Many families are finding that tuition is becoming more expensive. [read more...]
Recent government intervention has significantly changed the Federal Loan Program. Starting in the 2010-2011 academic term, federal loans should be easier and cheaper to obtain than in the past. [read more...]
In Chicago, there is a hard working and determined teenager named Gabriel Banks. She just wants to help out her mother, who is raising four children by herself. [read more...]
Finding a job is extremely difficult, especially during a recession. Unemployment numbers among teens are currently very high and getting worse. Certain employers make finding a job even harder by carefully checking the credit scores of job applicants and rejecting those with bad credit histories. [read more...]
We at the Simpson Street Free Press have been following the payday lending issue for some time. Payday lending services are knows to take advantage of the customers and often force people into a cycle of accumulating debt. [read more...]
Are you planning to go to college?
A lot of us say we plan to go to college, but how many of us are really planning for college? It’s a lot easier to say it than it is to actually do it.
Planning for college includes financial planning. Many of the expenses that you take for granted now, or that your parents pay for now, will become your responsibility when you get to college. [read more...]