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If you haven't looked into scholarships yet, it's time to start your search! There are multiple scholarship opportunities not only for new students, but also for students who are currently enrolled in college. They can be as broad as academic and merit scholarships or as specific and unusual as duck calling scholarships (start practicing your best "quack" - it may be worth some good money). Eagle also offers an annual scholarship to members who apply. 

Every year, Eagle Community CU is giving away multiple scholarships of $4,000 each to deserving students in Orange and Riverside County to help with college expenses. The application process is simple, consisting of a 500-word essay and finishing a module on our free financial education portal - so don't wait and apply now: www.eaglecu.org/scholarship

You may also qualify for financial aid (be sure to know the terms of your grants and loans) or work study, in which you can earn money through a campus job. Contact your university to learn more about your options.

It is also very important to develop a personal budget. Spending money on mandatory expenses--tuition, room and board, school supplies and textbooks, to name a few--and both essential and nonessential personal expenses--groceries, toiletries, clothing, transportation, travel, activities, and entertainment--can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time taking care of these expenses on your own. Making a budget and sticking to it will help you manage your money! If you find yourself having extra money in some areas of your budget and deficits in others, it may be time to reflect on your budget and reallocate the amount you can spend in each.

Don't forget to budget money to save. By saving money, you are essentially paying yourself in the future. When a large or unexpected expense comes up, your future self will really appreciate the sacrifice, however small, you made earlier.

You may also wish to start building credit. One of the best ways to do this is through a student credit card. These cards have lower limits than most credit cards, so you won't be too tempted to overspend. Look into your options and compare the conditions to choose a card that is best for you. Eagle’s Mastercard Credit Builder Card is an excellent option (https://www.eaglecu.org/CreditCards). Be sure to make your payments on time so your credit score doesn't drop.

If you wish to arm yourself with further financial knowledge, take advantage of campus financial aid offices, career centers, alumni centers, workshops, and clubs! Most higher-level education institutions offer several resources to offer advice and help students master their financial behaviors. Extracurricular activities and clubs - including teams, fraternities and sororities, and professional associations--are also great resources of financial support as they often organize programming meetings to assist members and attendees in their personal and professional development.

We’re also always available to speak to in our branches or by phone a (800) EAGLE CU. Additionally, Eagle has partnered with Banzai! to provide you with complimentary and confidential financial counseling, resources and education: https://eaglecu.banzai.org/wellness 

By learning and practicing healthy financial behaviors, you can be sure to better enjoy your college experience.

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.

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