Monday, August 8, 2011

A new trend: Financial advice for college students

Maybe it's just me or the magic of Google News tailoring results to the user, but I've been seeing a new trend in back to school reporting articles for college kids.  Instead of the usual dorm decorating or shopping advice I've seen five articles in the last week which provide financial advice and warnings to incoming college students.
  • The Boston Globe has checking account tips for college students.   It's some solid advice on setting up your new money management system to avoid fees.  Boston is chock full of college students so hopefully this advice gets some good use.
  • Daily Finance has changed another old trend to new with their article title: The New Freshman 15: Financial Tips for College Students.  It could easily be titled "how to avoid debt and get ahead financially while in college" but that wouldn't be nearly as catchy.
  • The Consumerist (I guess this shouldn't be a surprise) gives advice on Setting And Staying On A Budget In College.
  • The Street also got in on the action, but it read an awful lot like a paid guest post for LowCards.  Not the best advice. 
  • Salisbury Post advises parents on how to advise their kids to keep their budgets under control. It hits all the big expense areas from textbooks to entertainment.
Extra bonus: I saw a report that Dave Ramsey is working with Rochester College to offer an online personal finance management course.  Don't know if he's the best role model or his message most relevant, but it's probably better than nothing.

If you're a student headed to college (or a parent of one), you're welcome for all the information.  For everyone else, is this a sign that college students' debt has gotten to a crisis point or just that it's been a buzz topic in the news lately?

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  1. Very interesting. There does seem to be a trend going on. I wonder if it has something to do with the skyrocketing student loan debt and the continuing sluggish economy. At least there are resources readily available for students.

  2. Dave Ramsey is a role model, regardless of age. His advice has been life changing for us as a family. You should check him out; you will be amazed at what you learn.

  3. Oh, man. Dave Ramsey.

    College is supposed to be a place for academic exploration of concepts. Having DR teach personal finance in a college setting is, in my opinion, analogous to having a priest teach about reproduction.

    It just doesn't make sense.

  4. I agree with JT... I don't think Dave Ramsey isn't worth checking out but he's very one track... there doesn't seem to be much ability to personalize the situation and make it work for you... as a student I would have been very frustrated in his class...

    I have noticed the same thing recently (granted I'm also a student so Google may just be tailoring to me too) and I really like the shift from the usual fluffy college articles...

  5. I've noticed this trend too. When kids (and parents) are taking on loans and spending a lot of money for an education, yet possibly facing a very tough job market (or more money spent on grad school), it does make money a more salient topic. I'm glad to see more attention on this subject for students. Let's hope that many are paying attention.

  6. I'm with JT here. I could get behind colleges who appoint independent, unbiased and adequately qualified financial advisers but it feels very untoward appointing a man with such controversial views and commercial intentions.

  7. Great post. Most students (nor parents, if they are involved) don't consider their long term financial goals when they enter college or graduate school and the "financial counseling" required by the federal government is a joke. Anyway, great blog!