Top five list for the class of 2016

Graduation day is in sight. Congratulations! You only need to answer the question, “So, what are you doing next year?” about 257 more times.

If you are going to college, you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about what the last few months at home will be like. We have a few tips for you.

  1. Savor the last days of high school. Spend time with friends creating good memories. Please be careful though. If you are 18 years of age, you are an adult in the eyes of the law. It’s easy to get a little too crazy and do something you will regret later.
  2. Make it hard for your family to say good-bye. You may be feeling anxious, excited, or both knowing that soon you’ll be independent. It’s easy to hurt the feelings of the people who love you most so think carefully about your words and actions at home.
  3. Spend time figuring out your money situation. How much is it going to take to live? If you’re going to college, Bank of North Dakota (BND) recommends you add up the total amount of funds you have available with what you will receive in scholarships, grants, federal student loans and take from savings. If you still need more to bridge the gap, the DEAL Student Loan can help. DEAL Student Loans from BND are available for all North Dakota residents whether they attend college in North Dakota or out of state. Private financial institutions may also offer student loans so compare interest rates to determine your best option.
  4. Organize your finances. Take control now and create a budget you can follow. Chances are you will have a credit card or debit card. It’s easy to spend too much too quickly and find yourself in money trouble by the middle of October. BND’s College Planning Center has some good resources to help with a young person’s budget.
  • Managing your college finances article: This is helpful for the college-bound student and those who are heading straight into the workforce.
  • Budget calculator: This tool allows the graduate to enter budget items from separate categories to determine where money will be spent and how much is available for each category.
  • Salary-to-debt calculator: This tool allows the student to enter the expected income for a career and recommends an amount of student loans, which should not be exceeded to avoid repayment issues.
  1. Prepare yourself physically and emotionally. Be open to new experiences and make new friends. College is a chance for new beginnings so think about what you want to accomplish and the best path for you to take.

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