Setting Goals

The bottom line? Learning how to manage your money is essential to meeting the goals you have for your life. Meeting goals provides a real sense of accomplishment.

If your biggest goal right now is a college degree, you couldn't have a better one.

You'll want to plan for the total experience, from the first course you take freshman year to the day you receive your diploma.

But just as you had to think ahead in high school to take the courses you needed to go on to college, you have to plan ahead for what college will cost and how you will pay for it.

A good first step is to meet with your Student Finance Professional to understand the total cost of completing your degree or course of study and the ways you can pay: with savings, scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans. Don't forget about federal aggregate loan limits — these determine the most you can borrow from federally funded loan programs.

If you reach those limits without substantial progress toward your degree or certificate, you may have to put your education goals on hold.