Scholarships and Financial Aid Make College Education Affordable

It is not just the students who are planning on going to university but also the parents who are going through stress and confusion as they wonder how they are going to pay for the college degree. However, they need not feel that this is a daunting job as there are options for financial aid which are merit based and need based. For those who are completely unaware of the various options open for student loans and financial aid for further education it would help to do an online search of these options and learn more about them. Colleges are also keen on getting students to accomplish more and get better education and are out to help the need based student.

Financial aid is almost always required for further education like a college degree and the government and the colleges have made it possible for students to avail of this. This aid is provided by scholarships, work and study schemes, grants from private organizations and from federal agencies too. Each state also has its own plans to help need based students. If the college has funds to give out it helps the merit based students who prove their worth and who should be given the opportunity to study further.

Unless these options were available not many would be in a position to go through university education. Some loans have to be paid early during the tenure of the loan where as the need based loan can be paid back after the completion of graduation. The interest is also low and the payback terms less stressful. Students who have a good merit record are given scholarships which do not have to be repaid and all they have to do is to maintain a good record through out.

Another criteria which qualifies one for a substantial financial aid for college education is if the student is physically handicapped in any way. Those who have a physical disability and are keen on educating themselves are always encouraged and loans are easily available to them which do not have to be repaid. State owned colleges provide more financial aid than privately run ones.

Financial Education for School Children

Habits die hard. So, if we are going to be slaves of our habits, lets at least have good habits. If we stretch this point, it is easy to see the case for money and financial education for school children. Children are inherently curious about the things happening around them. However, in our day to day life, we take much of what we see for granted. Often times, children ask very interesting questions like “Where does money come from?”, “Why do prices of some goods keep going up while the prices of other goods keep coming down?”, etc. However, many adults are not able to answer these questions in a satisfactory manner. The climax of much of modern education is a job, which is something people have to endure to earn money. However, managing money and growing it, which are life skills are not taught to students at all. The parents don’t teach it, the schools don’t teach and in the end, we bring up yet another generation of clueless adults who fall prey to financial intermediaries. In order to break this vicious cycle, it is really important for parents to ensure that their children get right financial and money education.

Are there examples of financial education at an early age making a difference in anyone’s life? The answer is a resounding “Yes”! In fact, we don’t have to look beyond Mr. Warren Buffet. Buffet started saving and investing very early in his life. We all know that the key to unlock the power of compound interest is to start early. By the time an average adult is aware of all these facts, he is already in his mid thirties. As Malcolm Glad well mentions in his “Outliers”, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become very good in any endeavor. Thus, it is abundantly clear that children are exposed to the concept of money and compounding at an early age. This will ensure that by the time they reach adulthood, they would have spent a few hundred hours, if not a few thousand hours pondering about making and managing money. The head start will help them lifelong as the early birds get the benefit of the compounding effect of their wealth.

Another advantage of teaching school students about finance is that they become confident of taking their own decisions. This means that they can do away with middle men like financial planners, brokers, insurance agents, etc. This leads to substantial savings in terms of money over a 20 year period. The savings are likely to be approximately 2% – 3% every year. This is not an insignificant amount and the end result is that the retirement nest egg of the adult who had the benefit of early financial education is way larger than that of a person who has to learn the lessons the hard way, if at all.

Real money education is based on a curriculum that is a synthesis of several disciplines – History, business, banking, economics, etc. The key is to integrate these concepts so that the children are confident of taking decisions in the real world. Traditional education stresses more on analysis than synthesis, but in real world most problems are solved by synthesis of ideas from several disciplines rather than through analysis.

To summarise, it is important for the parents and the school teachers to equip the children with money and financial knowledge to survive and prosper in today’s complex world. As financial products grow ever complex, a basic understanding of the fundamentals are the least that is required of any future adult to compete in the highly challenging world of tomorrow. So let us sow the seeds of financial knowledge in the minds of young children, so that they may reap the benefits in their adulthood.

Choices in Finance Education

The finance industry offers a plethora of options to students wanting to join the finance profession.

Today’s finance profession is not limited to just the accounting jobs. With the right kind of finance education, a finance student can find himself suitable for a variety of finance roles. Most finance careers require you to be good with numbers and have knowledge of basic business statistics. Let’s take a look at some of the lucrative financial education options.

Accountancy: This is the most widely popular financial career. Commonly referred to as a public accountant, you learn about to prepare and maintain a businesses financial records. You also learn about taxation and other financial aspects of the business. Education in this area is very comprehensive, and the exam is considered quite difficult. Apart from public accountants, there are also other specialized fields such as cost accountant, management accountant, and tax expert.

MBA Finance: Another popular area in finance education is the MBA in Finance. This program is at the post-graduate level and is offered by most universities as well as business schools. An MBA Finance degree opens up career opportunities in a plenty of areas, which include banking, financial analysis, financial markets, research, etc. In general, the reputation of an MBA Finance is measured based on his skill level and the reputation of the college from where the program was completed.

Financial Planning: This is one of the most sought after professions in the finance field. As a financial planner, you are required to manage the personal finances of individuals. You are expected to invest people’s money in the best assets based on their risk profile and also advice them on various matters such as taxation, real estate, among others.

Finance Certifications: As the finance profession has grown, many new finance certifications have emerged that help students get equipped with very specific financial knowledge. For example, the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) designation helps you become a financial analyst. There are popular certification programs for becoming risk managers; these are Financial Risk Manager (FRM) offered by GARP, and Professional Risk Manager (PRM) offered by PRMIA. If you are interested in Alternative investments, then you have the option to become a Certified Alternative Investments Analyst (CAIA). There are financial certifications in almost every area of finance.

You can choose to pursue your finance education either as self-study (through certifications) or by joining a college. In either case, you will gain practical experience once you join the industry.

Financial Planning – Think Financial Education As Your Key to Achieving Wealth

The best way to improve your financial literacy is to learn as much as you can about money and how it works and this is why thinking financial education is paramount to you achieving wealth.

It is at the heart of what you would like to achieve – “the ability to understand and make informed and effective decisions about the use and management of your money.”

And you biggest challenge is that while you are expected to make informed and effective decisions about the use and management of your money. No one has taught you exactly how to do it. As the education you need to effectively manage your money is not available at any of the various level of schooling you have received. And it is not even modeled by those around you.

Therefore, if you are going to be achieve the level of financial literacy required it is your responsibility – No one is going to do it for you.

But the problem is even more fundamental. What is money any way? Really, do you even know what Money is?

Yes you know that it spends and that you work extremely hard and long for it. But really what is Money? Where did it come from? And how does it work?

Well, money is the universally accepted currency that allows you to quickly exchange expertise, real estate, commodities, and other goods and services. And originally money took the form of rare and special items that were limited in supply to ensure its value. With the ultimate form being GOLD.

Gold was great as money because it was rare, easy to carry around did not corrode and could be used for all kind of other valuable things besides money such as jewelry or other artifacts.

Money was worth something – It was Valuable!

However, today money has been so modernized that it has lost its value and is really nothing more than paper.

And this coupled with an overly complicated monetary system of credit, interest rates, monthly payments, taxes and fees have resulted in so much confusion that you are unable to make informed and effective decisions that lead to long-term financial success and security.

Resulting in you not being able to build wealth. All because of a few key errors that you make with your money on a consistent basis. Common errors that are caused by your inability to calculate the long-term effect of the financial decisions that you are making each and every day. Decision that are reflective of your financial literacy.

And if you do not learn how to avoid and over come these errors you will continue making them. And you will continue to have less money and less control of your life and less of a feeling of security and safety for yourself and others.

The good news is that you can take control of your life instead of allowing money to control you by simply focusing on gaining the financial education that you need. It is All up to You.

You would have noticed that so far we have talk very little about specific financial instruments and I am sure you may have wonder why?

Well, the answer is simply – achieving financial security is all about you. And your commitment to change your own thoughts, emotions and behaviors with your money. You have got to decide that you will no longer be normal and that you are going to be Different!

And to be different you have got to get a financial education. That will allow you to do three simple things:

  1. Learn how money and wealth works.
  2. Learn how to change your thoughts, emotions and behaviors with money.
  3. Retrain yourself to make decisions and take actions that go against what you would normally do with your money.

Then and only then will you begin to change create wealth and change your financial future. But if you do not educate yourself to do these things then you are going to continue to get the results you have always gotten.