Enjoy Summer and Plan Ahead
With the occurrence of the Summer Solstice on June 20, 2021, we are officially in the summer season. As you take in the Alaska midnight sun and all the Last Frontier has to offer, remember to plan financially for the fall season.
Whether you are a recent high school or college graduate, or a returning college/training student, this is the time to get prepared for a successful year. Don’t get me wrong, enjoying your summer break is necessary, but consider the following information to save you money:
- After you register for classes, learn about add/drop and withdrawal deadlines for the semester. Understand policies about making changes to your schedule and how dropping or withdrawing can affect your financial aid. At many schools once you pass the add/drop period you are obligated to pay the tuition fee whether you show up for the class or not.
- Understand your financial aid award, and student loan interest rates, requirements, and terms. The school's financial aid office on campus is a great resource. You can also find useful information with the Money $marts Video series.
- Learn about and plan to take advantage of resources offered by your school like academic advisors, career centers, writing centers, tutors, health and wellness centers and more.
- Save some of your earnings from summer employment if you worked. It will really come in handy in the fall. You may also want to consider looking for part-time jobs on campus now. For help preparing your resume create an account at AKCIS.org and go to the Employment tab.
- Maintain a budget. Keeping a record of all expenditures will keep you on top of your extracurricular spending especially when you get to college.
If you recently graduated from college, have you considered lowering your student loan payments by refinancing? Now might be the right time. Take a fresh look at your student loan interest rates. You may be able to lower your monthly payments and reduce the overall costs of your loans. For Alaska residents, one option is the Alaska Refinancing Loan, which allows borrowers to roll federal, state, and private loans from any lender into one fixed-rate loan. As with all big decisions, applicants should always consider the pros and cons of refinancing. Learn more about the Alaska Education Loan Refinancing Program.
Have fun this summer and make the most of it. You deserve it!
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