Christian college is a big investment, but each future Christian leader is vitally important to our communities. This is why financial stewardship skills can be a great addition to the education students receive in a Christian college. After all, it’s part of a Biblical worldview to be prudent with one’s finances. And good money management means that one can live a more generous life without worrying about how to pay the bills. Financing education is an opportunity to gain a component of an education, a set of life skills that are not part of a school’s planned curriculum.
Even if a student is prudent with their financial decisions, some run into money troubles along the road to their degree. Providing them with helpful ideas to deal with those issues might make the difference between a student finishing their course of study and having to leave school.
Here are 5 resources to recommend to your students for financing education:
- Your school’s financial aid office and career center. Your school’s financial aid office can be a great first stop for students who are looking for information on grants or scholarships. And the career center usually has leads on jobs that are student-friendly, like part-time tutoring.
- Private Scholarships and Loans. Students who need help covering a financial aid gap can benefit from private scholarships and private loans. Students can apply for scholarships in their field of study, from donors who grant to students who live in specific locations, or from local organizations like banks or credit unions. Private scholarships can also be found on sites like Fastweb and Scholarship America.
Private loans are also available. Students should be advised to shop around for good rates before making the decision to borrow.
- Student-friendly checking accounts. Checking accounts that charge monthly fees and require high minimum balances can be tough on low-earning students. Some banks and credit unions offer free checking accounts without balance requirements.
- Budget and credit counseling. Often, students don’t know how to put together a budget. And easily available credit can be a temptation to overspend. Nonprofit counseling services like Greenpath provide credit counseling and even student loan counseling to help students get a head start on a brighter financial future.
- Free financial education. There are some good, free financial education resources available online. Many financial institutions offer educational videos and eBooks to help people learn more about stewardship.
Some encouragement from school staff and easily available resources can help students manage their money and avoid excessive debt on their way to continued academic success. Banking with a Christian financial institution can help students get used to being mindful of their finances and using their money in a God-honoring way. The act of financing education can be a very good education in itself.