Students can help minimize the cost of college by managing their finances wisely. Prepare a realistic budget with your child before he or she goes off to college. Be clear about which expenses you will pay for and for which ones they will be responsible. Have your child track spending, and together, review the budget periodically.

Students must be especially careful with credit cards, which are pushed heavily on college campuses these days. Students frequently graduate with too much credit card debt, and in some cases students are forced to quit school because of debt problems. Companies promise cool prizes and premium gifts for students who sign up for their credit cards, but this can hurt your child's credit and lead to a slippery slope of negative spending habits.


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