The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina


Financial Literacy for College Students

What is Financial Literacy?fin_literacy

The ability for postsecondary students to use knowledge and skills to make good decisions related to budgeting, borrowing, and loan repayment strategies.

Three Components to Financial Literacy

  1. Budgeting
  2. Borrowing
  3. Repayment


A budget is a compass that enables a person to stay on the path to reach financial goals. Budgeting and goal-setting are powerful exercises that make it easier to plan for personal savings.

  • Budgeting is a stress reliever
  • Budgeting gives a person control
  • Budgeting can help to avoid debt, improve credit, and live within means
  • Budgeting helps to build decision-making skills


Student borrowers should understand the general terminology of the student loan process and gain some basic understanding of the related concepts listed below:

  • Loan types - federal vs. private
  • Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized loans
  • Determining how much to borrow
  • Borrowing and credit
    • How current borrowing affects future credit
    • Impacts on credit score
    • Glossary


Repayment of education loans kicks in once a student drops below half-time atttendance or graduates from college. Student borrowers should understand the following concepts:

  • Repayment plan options beyond the standard repayment plan, such as Income-Based Repayment and Pay-As-You-Earn
  • Know how a loan grace period works
  • Know the name and contact information of loan servicer(s)
  • Know the role of the loan servicer(s)

Direct Loan Repayment Information 

Federal Student Aid Repayment Options


Financial Literacy Tools

U.S. Department of Education Resources


Additional U.S. Government Resources


Private Organization Resources


Comprehensive College Budgeting, Planning, Repayment & Career Starter Site



The information on this page is provided by Federal Student Aid.

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