Having the 'Money Talk' with Scholarship Students
By now you know that students from all types of backgrounds receive academic and athletic scholarships. Unfortunately, making good grades and scoring touchdowns does not equate with making sound financial decisions. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to discuss financial planning with students who receive scholarships.
Keep it Positive
At the start of the conversation, tell students to relax. Talking about money doesn’t have to be stressful. Explain that you just want to ensure that they can focus on their studies and grow socially while they’re away at school, then ask if they already have a financial plan ready for their big leap.
5 Smart Suggestions
- Have an ongoing discussion. Let scholarship students know they should meet at least once a semester with their college counselor to discuss their academic progress and current financial situation and to inquire about any new scholarships they might be eligible to apply for.
- Engage their parents. Remind them that their parents are a valuable tool for advice when it comes to money management. Chances are they have had to make similar plans for their own finances.
- Take weekly timeouts. Advise them to set aside twenty minutes a week to look over their finances. They can use tools such as Excel spreadsheets or online software to manage their budget. The key is finding a method that works for them.
- Encourage progressive banking. Sometimes it’s smart to separate our money for different uses. One checking account can be for necessary school expenses, while a second account can be for weekly spending cash. A savings account can also be useful in case of emergencies. Many banks are becoming savvier at catering to the needs of today’s college students. Urge your students to discuss an account structure with a banking advisor that suits their needs.
- Invest in the future. If a student seems particularly interested in smart money management and has a little each month to spare, encourage the student to speak with a professional financial advisor about making a small investment each month—even as little as twenty dollars can add up. This may sound like an offbeat suggestion, but students who get into an investing mindset will have a strong foothold for future savings when they embark on an exciting career!
At the end of the discussion, remind the student that they received their scholarship because they are smart and talented. Managing their scholarship money won’t be a problem if they apply those talents to financially responsible planning.