What Is a Student Money Management Center?

Learn more about student money management centers, which teach financial literacy and can help you pay for college.
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Updated on June 26, 2023
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Cameren Boatner is a diversity, equity, and inclusion editor at BestColleges. She's a Society of Professional Journalists award winner for her coverage of race, minorities, and Title IX. You can find her work in South Florida Gay News, MSN Money, Deb...
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  • Student money management centers teach students about financial literacy, including budgeting.
  • Some centers offer funding through grants, loans, and scholarships.
  • Centers may also offer one-on-one coaching.
  • Each student money management center is different, and some schools do not operate them.

Student money management is challenging in college. Many students have jobs, loans, and families. They need to understand financial literacy and what resources are available to them.

Student money management centers can help ease the stress and pressure on students, showing them how to make the most of what they already have. These centers can also help students navigate complex financial systems to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for college loans.

Read on to learn more about these centers and what they can do for you.

What Do Student Money Management Centers Offer?

While all student money management centers are different, they generally offer similar services. The following section delves into what these centers provide and how you can benefit from them.

Financial Literacy Services

Each student money management center offers different financial literacy services. However, most provide a strong foundation in financial skills, including:

Some centers provide a curriculum or on-demand videos to teach this information.

Financial Support Services

In addition to teaching financial literacy, some student money management centers focus on helping students pay for school. Some centers offer grant money, scholarships, and loans. Research the center at your school to see what it offers.

Student Financial Coaching

Some student money management centers provide students with a one-on-one financial coach. Others teach group classes about financial literacy skills like budgeting and saving. These coaches can help you take a look at your income, budget, and expenses and make individualized financial decisions.

Should You Go to a Student Money Management Center?

Whether or not you should go to a student money management center depends on your individual circumstances and goals. If you are already fairly financially literate, you may not need the services your school's center provides. However, if you're new to saving, budgeting, credit, and investing, you should make the most of these centers.

If your school's center is high-quality, it is worth at least checking it out to see what services it offers. If it has a bad reputation, you may not want to visit.

Consider the amount of time you can dedicate to financial literacy. While budgeting is a key life skill, if you are taking a full course load while also working, you may want to wait until a future semester to visit your school's center.

How to Get the Most From a Student Money Management Center

To some degree, with student money management centers, you get out what you put in. Read on to learn how to make the most of these centers' services.

Use Every Available Resource

When you first visit or use your school's student money management center, try each resource it offers at least once. This broad strategy will help you determine which services are worth your valuable time and which aren't worth the hassle.

Be Honest About Your Finances

There's a general stigma, especially among college students, against not knowing your finances. To get the most out of student money management centers, you need to be honest with both yourself and your coaches about your finances. If these centers don't understand your situation, they can't really help you.

Take Notes

Even though no one is going to give you a grade at a student money management center, the information you learn there can ultimately prove as valuable as anything you learn during major coursework. Taking notes costs you nothing and can help you retain more information.

How to Sign Up for Student Money Management Services

Student money management center signup procedures for financial literacy and coaching services vary. Check your school's website to find the most up-to-date information on how to enroll.

Possible processes include signing up online or clicking through an online scheduler to make an appointment. The majority of student money management centers use online scheduling software for initial appointments. Other, less busy centers accept walk-ins, and you need only show up to be paired with a coach or counselor.

What If Your College Doesn't Have a Student Money Management Center?

If your college doesn't have a student money management center, you can still access financial literacy information online, as the information is freely available. For example, you can visit our financial planning hub for some more resources to learn the basics of college finances. For more specific questions and skills, you can also visit the following pages:

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Money Management Centers

What does a student money management center offer?

While all centers are different, a student money management center generally offers financial literacy courses and programs to help college students understand how to budget, save for the future, and improve their credit scores. Some centers provide one-on-one or group coaching to help students master these skills and concepts.

Certain centers also offer financial assistance for students through loans, grants, and scholarship opportunities.

Why is money management important for college students?

It's never too early to start saving and investing. The sooner you become financially literate, the sooner you can make your money work for you.

Furthermore, college can prove to be a dangerous time financially. If you took out loans to pay for college, the right money management skills can help you pay them off more quickly and avoid constant, looming debt throughout your life.

What are the benefits of money management?

Money management can help you achieve your professional goals, support your family, finish school with less debt, and generally live life with less stress and anxiety.

Student money management centers teach you to maximize what you have, allowing you to focus on what you can control. Financial literacy is as important a skill as anything you learn in a college classroom, as it can have a significant positive impact on your future prospects and your mental health.

How important is money management to a school?

It depends on the school. However, most schools want alumni to enter the professional sphere with a good grasp of financial literacy. It reflects well on schools when graduates manage their money well and avoid significant debt, although this is uncontrollable in some cases.

For these reasons, many schools offer on-campus or online student money management centers. Check your school's website or ask around on campus to learn more.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute professional financial advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact a professional advisor before making decisions about financial issues.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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