Upcoming Financial Literacy Events!

On our campus:

“Borrowing Trouble? Student Loans, the Cost of Borrowing , and Implications for the Effectiveness of Needs-Based Grant Aid”
Ben Marx, Assistant Professor – Department of Economics at Illinois
April 9, 2014 – 12:00pm
IGPA Giertz Conference Room, 1007 West Nevada, Urbana, IL 61801

In this paper, we estimate the impact of need-based grant aid on City University of New York (CUNY) students’ borrowing and educational attainment using regression discontinuity and regression kink designs. Pell Grant aid reduces borrowing: on average, an additional dollar of Pell Grant aid leads to $0.37 reduction in federal loans. Among borrowers, a dollar of Pell Grant aid crowds-out over $1.60 of loans. We develop a simple model that illustrates our findings are consistent with students facing a fixed cost of incurring debt. We show that in the presence of such a fixed cost, additional grant aid may decrease some students’ educational attainment. Empirically, we find no evidence that Pell Grant aid increases educational attainment, and can rule out impacts as small as a $1000 increase in Pell Grant aid leading to an additional 3 credits. Finally, we show that the fixed cost has economically meaningful impacts on behavior: we estimate that relaxing it would increase the borrowing rate by 60 percent.

Please contact Angela Clark Terrall at aclark3@illinois.edu or 217-333-3340 if you would like to schedule a meeting with our speaker or be removed from our email list.


Personal Finance for PhDs: A Guided Q&A with Amy Salo, CFP®
April 9 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | $20

6:00 – 6:30 PM               Wine, hors d’oeuvres, informal networking
6:30 – 7:30 PM               Guided Q&A with Amy Salo, CFP®
7:30 – 8:00 PM               Informal networking continued

This workshop will focus squarely on the financial concerns of those who have earned, or are in the process of earning, a PhD. Amy will review the three layers of optimal financial balance: protection, savings, and debt management. She will address concerns specific to PhDs, including the crippling effect of over-thinking, opportunity costs, future challenges posed by deferred retirement savings, and the importance of getting your financial priorities right.

There is a finite amount of money flowing through your balance sheet during your working life.  We can’t know in advance exactly what that number will be, but we do know that once it is in our rear view mirror, we can’t change it. Amy will help participants move toward a confident, clear path for making the most of opportunities.  Money is not created by stress or avoidance. We can only optimize what it is that we are working with, protect it, save it, and always, always make it work for us.

Co-Sponsored by PhDs at Work and  NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development

Cultivating Currency: Creating Your Money Landscape


Tuesday, March 11, 2014
noon – 5:00 p.m.
Illini Union

Pre-register for the chance to win prizes!

Keynote address at 1:00 p.m., Illini Union, Rooms B & C
“Starting Small: Preparing for your Financial Future Today”
by Alejo Torres, Senior Outreach Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The financial decisions you make while in school – at both the undergraduate and graduate level – can impact your future economic and educational opportunities.

Learn how to think smart about your money landscape during this half-day event which includes an information expo, breakout sessions on specific money topics, and keynote address by Alejo Torres.

This event is co-sponsored by the Graduate College and the Office of the Dean of Students, and is funded in part through a grant from the TIAA-CREF and Council of Graduate Schools in partnership with the Provost’s Office, Office of Student Financial Aid, USFSCO Student Money Management Center, and University of Illinois Extension.

This symposium will answer important financial questions asked by
undergraduate and graduate students and is open to the entire campus community.
For more information, please contact the Graduate College at grad@illinois.edu.

How can I find employment on campus?

Looking for Jobs on Campus

There are a number of campus job boards available to students looking for employment on campus. Don’t assume that positions only open before the start of the semester – check back for new postings throughout the year.

  • Student Financial Aid Virtual Job Board: This job board is intended to assist University of Illinois students in finding part time employment to help them in meeting their needs while pursuing an education at this University.
  • Assistantship Clearinghouse, Graduate College: The Graduate College Assistantship Clearinghouse lists assistantships that are available to graduate students on the Urbana campus.
  • Research Park Job Board: Employers at the Research park are looking for undergraduate and graduate students to hold internships and part-time employment during the summer and academic year.

Also, reach out to professors and advisors who may have paid research or teaching opportunities. Creativity and initiative can reveal opportunities that you may not have considered!
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What is my credit score? Why is it important? How do I check my credit report?

What is a credit score?

A credit score is typically a three-digit number based on your financial history to analyze and determine your creditworthiness. The higher your score, the better off you are! Credit scores are used by lenders (banks, credit card companies, etc) to gage your financial responsibility based on your past financial behaviors. Credit scores are calculated from information in your credit report. Things that affect your credit score, both positively and negatively, are paying bills late or on time, the type of credit you use, how much credit you have available to you, how much you owe on your credit cards and loans, how long you’ve held outstanding credit (how long you’ve had a credit card, for example), and whether you’ve had a lot of inquiries from prospective lenders.
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Are you liable for charges made on your credit card after it has been lost or stolen?

Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) the most you can be held liable for when your credit card has been stolen is $50. However, if you report the loss before your card has been used (or the fraudulent charges involve your credit number and not the card itself) under the FCBA you are not liable at all and do not have to pay the card issuer any money. But if a thief uses your card before you are able to report it missing, the most you will be liable for is $50.

It is a good idea to watch your billing statements carefully in the months after your credit card goes missing. If any charges appear that you did not make, be sure to contact the card issuer immediately.
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