1. Fill out the FAFSA early!
When you do your taxes every year, make a note that you need to do a FAFSA too! FAFSA is due by March 1st and the earlier it is filled out the better. There is only a certain amount of money to give and it is first come, first serve.
2. Get familiar with the Financial Aid website
Tons of info that we give out everyday is right on the main page. This is available to you 24/7 - no wait time & no long distance calls!
3. Sign-up for 3rd Party Authorization
3rd Party Authorization makes it possible for you to see how much your student owes for tuition and the dates that payments are due. You will not receive a bill in the mail. It is all done online and unless Third Party Authorization is completed, your student will be the only person able to access billing information. Your student must begin the process by signing you up for this service via Cougarnet. After they have done their part you take over to complete the registration. For more information check out 3rd Party Authorization on the Office of the Bursar's website.
4. Learn with your student - not for your student
When filling out the financial aid info, do it with your student. That way you are both learning together and the student is aware of the financial aid process.
5. Have your student to keep track of their monthly expenses BEFORE they leave for school
This will give your student and idea of what they are spending their money on & how much they use. This will help your student when they are juggling classes, work, a social life & more.
6. Help your student set up a budget
Help your student know what they have to buy each month and how much money they have to spend each month. Don't let your student borrow more than they need. Remember, what they borrow must be paid back.
7. Consider a job on campus
Students can work on campus, earning $8.00/hour for up to 20 hours/week. Their schedules can be flexible and they don't have to drive to go to work. Jobs are listed on the Student Employment website.
8. Eat more meals on campus
The Dining Dollars program saves your student money on meals. Students who reside in residence halls can get 60% off their meals. Evergreen Hall and Cougar Village residents can get their meals tax free.
9. Don't apply for credit cards or use credit cards
It is too easy for your student to spend more than they can afford when all they have to do is hand over a piece of plastic and sign their name.
10. Shop wisely and be an informed consumer
There are many discount department stores and discount food stores in the area. Shop around for the most competitive prices. Many local merchants offer discounts to SIUE students…just ask!