Helping Students and Graduates
From mastering the basics to understanding the financial responsibilities of having a baby, our library covers topics appropriate for both traditional and non-traditional students. A partial listing of topics covered by Financial Literacy 101 include:
- Financial Health for Students - An introduction to the concept of financial health and how financial health can be different for students.
- Introduction to Budgeting - A simple introduction to how and why everyone should consider creating a monthly budget.
- Advanced Budgeting - Suggestions for tracking actual spending over time, including our Budget-to-Actuals calculator.
- Money Saving Ideas - Looking for ideas for ways to save money now? Almost everyone can find a way to save using at least one of these tips.
- Choosing a Bank - What to look for when choosing a financial services institution, including the benefits of credit unions.
- Managing Accounts - Account management strategies including online bill payment and data protection.
- Checking and Savings Accounts - Checking and savings account strategies designed to minimize fees.
- Credit Reports and Scores - A look at the pervasiveness of credit in our culture and the function of credit reports and scores.
- Credit vs. Debit Cards - The pros and cons of each type of card with suggestions for when to use each for maximum consumer protection.
- Students and Credit Cards - With limited or non-existent income, students face special challenges with credit card debt.
- Building Credit - Understanding the decisions and behaviors that can lead to improved credit scores.
- Credit Card Act of 2009 - A clear explanation of how the new regulations work to protect card holders.
- Reading Your Credit Report - A line-by-line description of what to expect and look for when viewing a credit report.
- Identity Theft - Understanding how identity theft happens and how to prevent it.
- Dealing with ID Theft - What to do if you are a victim of identity theft.
- Financial Trouble - Spotting the warning signs of excessive debt.
- Dealing with Financial Trouble - An introduction to the steps you can take to begin dealing with financial problems.
- Creating a Debt Reduction Plan - Whether done independently or with a credit counselor, creating a debt reduction plan is an important first step for those with financial trouble.
- Credit Counseling - The role of credit counseling organizations and how a debt management plan works to restore credit over time.
- Choosing a Credit Counselor - The best way to find a good credit counselor is knowing what questions to ask. Here's a comprehensive list of questions.
- Avoiding Credit Repair Scams - How to spot a credit repair scam.
- Debt Collection and Your Rights - Understanding legal and illegal debt collection practices. How to report companies that ignore the law.
- Debt Collection and Legal Actions - What to do if you are sued over debt.
- Understanding Bankruptcy - The types of bankruptcy and why it should be used only as a last resort.
- Avoiding Alternative Financial Services - Understanding why payday loans, check cashing services, and similar services are bad deals for consumers.
- Financial Planning Introduction - Learning the "how" and "why" of short, medium, and long-term financial planning.
- Creating a Will - A will is the cornerstone of the legal framework of an estate plan, and everyone should have one.
- Powers of Attorney - Everyone faces the possibility of temporary or permanent incapacitation. Make sure your wishes are followed.
- Estate Planning - An overview of wills, trusts, and other end of life issues.
- Getting Married: Talking About Money - The financial considerations of getting married. How to talk about money with your spouse.
- Getting Married: Planning for the Unexpected - Planning for unexpected events, including accidents, death, and even the possibility of divorce, are all part of a responsible marriage.
- Financial Aid Introduction - An introduction to the financial aid materials available at Financial Literacy 101.
- Types of Financial Aid - The main types of financial aid are education loans, grants and scholarships, work-study, and service programs.
- Creating an Aid Strategy - Considerations when planning to pay from school, including school choice, employment options, accounting strategies, and the importance of borrowing wisely.
- Understanding Financial Need - How financial need is officially determined.
- Independent Student Status - Understanding your financial aid dependency status, including a discussion of what to do if the parents of dependent students refuse to help them pay for college.
- Applying for Aid - The aid application process, including descriptions of the FAFSA and Profile forms.
- Understanding Education Loans - A description of the main types of student loans, including government loans, consolidation loans, and private loans.
- Choosing the Right Loan - Questions every student should be able to answer before taking on a student loan.
- Selecting a Private Loan Lender - When federal loans are not enough, private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and nonprofit lenders can help to fill the gap.
- The Master Promissory Note - An introduction to the agreement that specifies your rights and responsibilities when accepting a student loan.
- Repaying College Debt - Common repayment plans are outlined, as well as instructions for finding your loans and the consequences of non-payment.
- Borrowing Wisely - Making smart choices about student loans, including a description of the impact of loan capitalization.
- Dealing with Not Enough Financial Aid - Why some students find themselves with too little aid and what can be done to make ends meet.
- Having a Baby Introduction - An overview of the financial considerations of bringing a baby into your life.
- Babies and Budgets - How to get your finances in shape before a baby arrives, including a budget review, paying down debt, and creating an emergency fund.
- Paying for the Baby Years - The non-childcare costs you can expect when having a baby, from cribs to health insurance.
- Childcare Choices - An overview of different childcare choices and the financial implications of each.
- Children and Taxes - A review of federal tax benefits for families with children.
- Managing Risks - Life is filled with unexpected events. Learn how to ensure the financial security of your child in the worst-case scenario.
- Growing Up: Childhood and Beyond - A review of the tax benefits that can help you manage the expenses incurred with children.
- Insurance Introduction - How insurance plays an important role in our financial lives.
- Auto Insurance - Types of insurance, factors influencing cost, and choosing a policy that's right for your situation.
- Life Insurance - Who needs life insurance, types of policies, and how to determine coverage.
- Renter's Insurance - Understanding the benefits (and potential pitfalls) of this type of inexpensive insurance.
- Students and Health Insurance - Understanding the health insurance choices facing students, including non-traditional and international students.
- Disability Insurance - The benefits and costs of these often complex policies.
- Buying a Car Introduction - An introduction to the car buying process.
- Choosing a Make and Model - A look at four important factors to consider when choosing a car: fuel consumption, insurance rates, reliability, and depreciation.
- The Total Cost of Ownership - Understanding the many costs associated with owning a car - from financing cost to taxes.
- Buy or Lease - The pros and cons of leasing.
- Financing a Car Purchase - How a loan affects the total cost of buying a car.
- Evaluating a Used Car - How to "do your homework" before buying a car.
- Introduction to Negotiation - Effective negotiation could potentially save you thousands on your next car purchase.
- Setting a Target Price - How to set a realistic target price for both new and used vehicles.
- Negotiating Price - Car dealers negotiate for a living - you don't. Know what to expect when negotiating the best deal.
- Avoiding Surprises - Think the negotiating is finished when you agree on a price? Here's how to negotiate dealer extras and extended warranty pitches.
- Common Mistakes - Twelve common mistakes to keep in mind when shopping for a car.
- Buying a Home - Pros and cons of buying a home, including a comparison with renting.
- Understanding Mortgages - Understanding the parts of a mortgage and common mortgage loan options.
- Buying vs. Renting a Home - How to decide if the time may be right for you to buy.
- Renting an Apartment - Your rights and responsibilities when signing a rental agreement.
- Roommates and Money - Simple strategies for managing your financial relationship with roommates.
- Saving and Investing - The difference between investing and saving, and how to tell what's the best option for your needs.
- Types of Investments - The pros and cons of stocks, bonds, and cash. The concept of asset allocation is explained.
- Investment Accounts - The types of accounts available to investors, including both taxable and tax advantaged accounts.
- Saving for Retirement - Reasons why saving for retirement is more important than ever, plus a peak at how account fees impact investment performance over time.
- Retirement Savings Strategies - How to develop a comprehensive retirement savings strategy.
- Retirement Savings Tips - A few simple things to keep in mind when starting a retirement savings plan.
- Retirement Savings Accounts - An overview of the major retirement accounts, include Individual Retirement Accounts, Simplified Employee Pensions, and 401(k) plans.
- Individual Development Accounts - Understanding the benefits of IDAs, how to qualify, and where to find a program.
Calculators and Exercises
Our content library is just the first step - Financial Literacy 101 also helps students make sense of their education with interactive calculators.
- Monthly Budget Calculator - Perhaps unlike any budget calculator you've seen before, ours offers personalized money-saving suggestions based on your projected spending behaviors.
- Budget-to-Actuals Calculator - Compare actual spending with a monthly budget, including line-by-line analysis and a "big picture" summary. Track progress over time and even export figures to a spreadsheet.
- Personal Goals Journal - There's no better way to achieve financial goals than to write them down. Students use this exercise to set short, medium, and long-term financial goals. Goals are saved and can be adjusted as needed over time.
- Personalized Feedback - Sensible, objective feedback and suggestions based on spending behavior, credit card use, and financial stress levels.
- Paying for College - Find any "aid gap" that may exist after earnings, loans, and expenses are calculated for each semester or academic year.
- Identity Theft Assessment - Personalized feedback based on common (but often overlooked) behaviors that may increase the risk of identity theft risk.
- Real World Calculator - For those just entering the work force after college, this tool shows entry-level income and budget scenarios for a variety of popular college majors based on national average salary data.
- Credit Card Repayment - Create a strategy for paying off credit card debt based on either planned payments or the desired months until the debt is paid.
- Chronic Debt Assessment - This assessment exercise takes a look at over a dozen factors associated with compulsive spending behavior.
- Auto Financing Calculator - Explore monthly payment scenarios based on amount financed, interest rate, and the term of the loan.
- Financial Personality - Discover "hidden" attitudes toward money, including spending priorities, with this innovative tool.
With dozens of topics, calculators, and exercises, Financial Literacy 101's personalization tools build a highly relevant student experience.
- "My Money" Homepage - Organizes the educational experience of each student and offers easy access to detailed textual resources, printable downloads, financial calculators, and other resources that students may use on an ongoing basis.
- Saving Content - Students can save relevant content to their home page for easy reference.
- Notes - Students can write notes about any topic in the MoneyEdu content library. Notes are placed in the appropriate sections and assembled into one Master Notebook.
- Course Tracking and Review - Progress made on each course is stored in each member's account. Students can easily review any topic covered and print their course completion certificate.
- Content Sharing - When enabled by their school, students can choose to share their monthly budget and other interactive exercises with their school representatives for one-to-one counseling sessions.
- Integrated Communication Tools - When content sharing is enabled, students and school representative have the option of secure, site-based messaging.
- Online Checklists - Students can add "to do" items to their interactive checklist and manage their tasks over time. Select content topics also have built-in checklist suggestions.
- Course Completion Certificates - Each course completed by a student entitles them to a completion certificate. Each certificate includes a verifiable course completion code.
If you have questions, please contact us.