Smart Money Tips

By openly discussing monetary issues before college begins, you can help prepare your child to take responsibility for their personal finances.

A little planning can make a big difference. Share these tips with your college student to get the school year off to a great start.

Before Coming to Campus

  • Meet financial aid deadlines. Stay on top of calendars to make sure you get every opportunity you deserve—92% of Saint Leo's traditional-age students receive financial aid of some sort, and over 91% receive grant and scholarship aid they don't have to pay back.
  • Get organized before the semester begins. Create a filing system to keep track of paperwork, or look into a web-based financial management service.
  • Determine a budget for each whole semester, then break it down week by week. List all sources of income, including scholarships, loans and money from jobs and parents, as well as expenses such as tuition, books and food. Stick to the plan.

Once at Saint Leo

  • Take advantage of pre-paid opportunities. Saint Leo's Campus Activities Board plans free and deeply discounted events like movies, concerts and theme park trips. Saint Leo also provides free laptops to all fulltime residential students, and the Health & Wellness Center offers affordable exams and treatment.
  • Use your student ID for discounts. You can save on everything from museum admission to a new phone.
  • Earn extra bucks. Many students hold work-study positions in administrative departments. Others find jobs at nearby businesses.

Money Management Guidelines to Keep in Mind

  • Track your spending habits by regularly checking your balance. Once you realize how much those daily lattes add up, it will be easier to drink the free coffee at the library.
  • Pay bills on time, every time, to avoid late fees. You may select to enroll in online bill payment, which can add convenience to your life, and save on stamps.
  • Beware of scams and never give out personal information like your social security or PIN number. Never check your bank account on a public computer.
  • Go easy on the credit cards. Set your own credit limit—just because you have a card with a $2,000 limit, doesn't mean you have to spend $2,000. When you get your bill, always pay more than the minimum balance due—ideally, the entire balance. Keep tabs on your credit report to watch for fraudulent activity.