Student Financial Literacy

Do you understand finances? This seemingly simple question can involve nuanced answers because of the variety of issues that “finances” can encompass. For example, determining the amount of money you spend per week at your local coffee shop can be an easy task, but understanding capitalization of interest on an unsubsidized loan can be much more complicated. You need to have a grasp on some of the financial matters that may involve you while studying at Luther Rice, and these items may also benefit you in years to come.


A useful practice regardless of how you fund your education is the creation and utilization of a budget. To prepare a simple budget, list each source of income along with each expense per month. Be as detailed as you choose but be sure to list all income and all expenses. Income should meet or exceed expenses. If this does not happen, then strive to increase income and/or decrease expenses. Budgeting is useful both while in school and thereafter.

Resources for Budgeting from the Department of Education


Budgeting Tips

Money Management Checklist for College Students

Financial Literacy Guidance from Federal Student Aid

Cost of Degree

Costs to consider include tuition, fees, books, supplies, technology, graduation expenses, etc. If your educational pursuit will take you more than one academic year, the cost of your studies will be approximate because costs can change from year-to-year. Despite the inexact nature of this calculation, use current costs to determine an approximate amount your degree will cost. Luther Rice’s Financial Aid Office can aid you with this calculation, so feel free to contact us.

The Net Price Calculator provides estimated cost of attendance based on the income and living situation for current and prospective students.

Payment for Degree

After arriving at the cost of your degree, now decide how you will pay. Various options exist for this task, and one commonly used is paying from personal means. This payment option is straightforward and warrants little discussion. One item to note is payment plans are available each term, which can assist you with cash flow to pay for your courses.

Federal Financial Aid

Paying completely from personal means is not feasible for everyone, so another often used payment method is federal financial aid. Federal aid can come in the form of grants, work study, and loans. Grants are determined based upon your need and typically do not have to be repaid. These funds do not completely cover the cost of your studies, but they can lower the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket. Work Study funds are wages for work you perform at jobs indicated by Luther Rice. These funds are also need-based and usually do not have to be repaid.  

Types of federal loans can differ based upon your need and grade level. Repayment on loans does not occur until after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, and loans include interest, which is an additional cost added to the loan for borrowing the money. One type of federal loan is a subsidized loan, which is need-based and awarded only to undergraduate students. Interest on subsidized loans is covered by the federal government until you graduate (or drop below half-time enrollment), so upon graduation you should not initially owe more than you borrowed.

Unsubsidized loans, on the other hand, do incur interest while enrolled, and you can either pay the interest during your studies or delay your interest payments. If you choose the latter option and delay interest payments, the interest capitalizes into the loan, and upon graduation (or dropping below half-time enrollment) you will owe more on your loan than you borrowed. Unsubsidized loans are not need-based and both undergraduate and graduate students can borrow these loans.

Resources for Managing Student Loans

Manage Federal Student Loans

Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Student Loan Delinquency and Default

ECMC Solutions

Resources for Loan Repayment

Loan Repayment Plans

Student Loan Repayment Simulator Tool

Exit Counseling

Other options exist for payment of your degree, so feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.

Additional Online Resources

Honoring God with your finances

Free Annual Credit Reports

Terms and Definitions Used for Financial Aid

For more information pertaining to financial aid, please visit Financial Aid FAQ

Contact Financial Aid Office

Please email any questions to or call 770-484-1204 ext. 5755.