Manage your money wisely: Ways to figure out financial aid, budgeting

May 9, 2016

Abbie Stillman
astillma@uccs.edu

Learning how to deal with your financial aid is a difficult transition to make when you start college, and being able to understand the process of using financial aid will help keep students out of financial trouble.

Students can choose between federal and private loans, according to Financial Aid executive director Jevita Rogers.

Rogers mentioned that there are Mountain Lion Money Matters presentations offered each semester to help students create good money management skills. The schedule can be found on the financial aid web page.

“Too many people these days live beyond their means and get into financial difficulties that can affect everything from getting a job to qualifying for a good interest credit card, car loan or mortgage,” said Rogers.

After students are awarded their financial aid, the next step is figuring out how to apply it.

“Once a student has been awarded their financial aid, they would go into their portal and accept the student loan. If it is their first time borrowing the federal loan, they will be directed to complete the federal loan entrance counseling as well as their master promissory note,” said Rogers.

All this can be completed online through the federal loan website studentloans.gov.

“They can accept, reduce or decline the amount they have been offered. The loan monies are released to UCCS starting 10 days before the start of classes each semester of that school year, and it is then subtracted from their tuition and /or housing bill,” Rogers explained.

Students like the accessibility and simplicity of the portal as well.

“The easiest part was probably the portal, because it was pretty self-explanatory,” said junior communication major Aaron Glassford.

Rogers commented that for students who accept their loans after the 10 day period, it typically takes five to seven business days for the loan monies to be released to UCCS toward the student’s bill.

Students begin repaying their loans after graduation, but many may be unaware of when they are required to start this repayment process.

“Repayment starts six to nine months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment, not including summer,” Rogers explained.

“I’m guessing it’ll take five to 15 years (to pay off my loans); a bit broad, but life gets in the way,” said Glassford.

Find more information on the UCCS financial aid page, uccs.edu/finaid/index.html.