Money Smart Week® helps families get financially fit

March 30–April 6, 2019

information provided by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission

CHICAGO, Ill. (March 29, 2019) – From learning about options to pay for college, to avoiding student loan debt and managing money during college, Money Smart Week® events and resources can help students and families who are navigating the financial road through postsecondary education. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is participating in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s annual Money Smart Week® by highlighting opportunities for financial education, and providing free resources and tools to help students and families better manage finances before, during and after college.

“Knowledge is power, and families who learn more about money management can better compare options, benefits and risks when it comes to financial aid, student loans, consumer financial products, and more,” said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of ISAC. “We want every family to have the information they need to make informed choices. The free Money Smart Week® events and resources…can help students better prepare for life after high school.”

ISAC offers the following tips and resources:

  1. Learn about Money Management:
    • Attend a Money Smart Week® event! More than 500 free educational classes, seminars, and activities will take place in the Chicagoland area and across the state, including two ISAC-sponsored events in DeKalb and Roscoe, Illinois. For information on Money Smart Week® events, or videos and other resources, visit moneysmartweek.org.
    • Play the Claim Your Future® game available through the ISAC Student Portal. An interactive experience for middle school and up, the game encourages exploration of education and training after high school, future careers, and money management.
  2. Make informed choices about life after high school:
    • Education after high school can boost lifetime earning potential. Studies show that those who have at least some education after high school—whether a certificate, two-year or four-year degree—earn more than those with only a high school education, and have more career options.
    • Free help is available for the college-going and financial aid process The ISACorps offers assistance in making informed choices about education after high school that will fit a student’s interests, skills, financial circumstances, and needs. The ISACorps is a group of recent college graduates trained in college access and financial aid who act as near-peer mentors to high school students, helping them identify schools, assisting with college applications, and helping access financial aid. Visit studentportal.isac.org/isacorps to find ISACorps members by area.
    • Find scholarships, compare financial aid award letters, calculate financial aid, and more by checking out the tools and resources on the ISAC Student Portal, studentportal.isac.org.
  3. Finish on time. For those able to attend college full-time, 15 to Finish is a program that encourages taking 15 credits each semester (30 credits a year) to stay on track and graduate on time. Graduating on time can help students save money, reduce student debt, and start earning money faster.

About ISAC

The mission of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is to help make college accessible and affordable for students throughout Illinois. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information on education and financial aid for students and their families, giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them. Then, through the state scholarship and grant programs ISAC administers, ISAC can help students make those choices a reality.

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