‘Life After Graduation’ to educate students on loan repayment

The Student Money Management Center will host a free financial workshop session called Life After Graduation: Student Loan Repayment on Wednesday March 23 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

The session will be presented by Student Money Management Center Director Patsy Collins and Financial Peer Coach psychology senior Grant Turley.

The first time they had the session was fall 2013, the year Collins began to work for the center.

“The center had a great workshop designed and people were certified,” Collins said. “But the students were not coming to the sessions and consultations as frequently as we would like.”

After the workshop was tweaked to meet more student needs, it received a positive reaction with the student body and continues to be scheduled every semester in order to help graduating students get a grip on their financial future.

“Two things that resonates with the students are graduation and how to repay your loans,” Collins said. “You have to go where the students are. They don’t really take their head out of the sand to see until the loan repayment is there and it is their turn to graduate.”

This upcoming session will offer pizza and scholarship opportunities.

“I think it is the mix of things that make people come,” Collins said. “Plus, once they come, they realize that the sessions have relevant information to them.”

According to Collins it is a great addition to this session to have a peer speak because he can relate to the students’ struggles.

“I’ve made my own mistakes and I have to learn how to get through that,” Turley said. “It just seemed like a great thing for me to pass on, some knowledge to other people so that they don’t have to stumble as much.”

Money is an issue college students struggle with and management is a skill that can help them with life after graduation.

“I think that one of major deficiencies of people’s education in college is that they don’t know how to manage their own finances,” Turley said. “That is super important, especially when you are in college, because you have so little as it is. If you are making poor decisions with your money, it will really effect what happens for you after college.”

The session will be about 40 minutes and will reserve additional time for questions.

Topics that will be covered are the thousand dollar rebate, income- based repayment, the Perkins loan, the state of Texas ‘Be on Time’ loan, loan forgiveness features and different veterans programs benefits.

“We try to keep your personal net worth from going into the red while you are here in school, so that when you get your job you can pop into the black much faster,” Collins said.

Another popular subject that will be presented is the public service loan forgiveness. People that work in the public service industry such as teachers and police officers will have a better loan forgiveness plan.

“By helping others, you can help yourself,” Collins said. “If you are in public service, then you may not have to pay all your loans back. It is a win- win.”

Collins said the government is not to be feared but instead can be beneficial to students.

“One of the main messages I try to convey during the session is that the federal government is willing to work with them on repaying their loans,” Collins said. “They will work with you to make it based on your income level even if it is zero.”

The next Student Money Management Center session will be on April 11 in the Woodlands, ‘How to Intentionally and Deliberately Aggregate Wealth’. The workshop session after that will be Wednesday April 13 in the LSC Theater called ‘The Frugal Traveler’.

“We are doing that as a part of Houston money week,” Collins said. “Our students who attend The Frugal Traveler and the session down in The Woodlands can qualify for a scholarship associated with Houston money week. It will be $250 that they can out their name down for. Also if you have attended three out of the four Student Money Management Center events, you qualify for a $400 scholarship we are giving out.”

There will also be an online session for people to watch if they cannot attend.

“I’m willing to email the students and their friends the PowerPoint I use in the session, because I know it is hard to remember everything,” Collins said.

Turley said that he understands that whatever people decide to do with this loan repayment knowledge is extremely valuable and that no matter what industry you go into, you need to have a sense of money management.

“If students are worried about loan repayment, then I hope the sessions helps them see the end of the tunnel,” Turley said. “I think that a lot of people, burry their head in the sand and pretend that they don’t have those obligations or they freak out about it. Neither of those is a good idea. It helps them see, there is a path ahead and it is possible for me to do this. I am not going to explode or light on fire. It is going to be okay.”

For more details about the workshop session visit http://www.shsu.edu/dept/smmc/ or call Collins at (936) 294-2601.


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