Most of the more than 60 percent of Florida A&M students who receive university net checks are trying to figure out how to budget their net checks.
Financial aid consists of grants, loans, scholarships and on-campus work study employment which help students cover the cost of attending a university. Net checks, the surplus of the aforementioned aid after tuition and other fees have been paid, are disbursed each semester. The checks can range anywhere from less than a dollar to several thousand dollars.
Depending on a student’s financial need before and after the net checks are disbursed, the ways this money is spent varies.
Julian Wimbush, a third-year architecture student from Philadelphia has big plans for his net check. Wimbush, who is employed, said he will use the check to support his son. He also works as a music producer and said he plans on buying more musical equipment.
“I think that the check will last all semester,” Wimbush said. “It’s extra money”.
While Wimbush is spending his extra aid lavishly, other students are taking a more cautious approach.
First-year business administration student Patricia Vernet plans on saving most of her check. “I want to spend it right this time,” Vernet said. “I will use it more for necessities than wants”.
In addition to the aspirations of some Rattlers to treat themselves and save some of their net check, students are also thinking about their household expenses. Several students include rent, car payments and other expenses in their net check budget.
Anthony Clarke, a fourth-year accounting student from Nassau, Bahamas, said he learned from past mistakes.
“I got net checks before and did what I wanted to do with it and suffered,” said Clarke, who plans on paying off past debts he accrued since being in college. “This semester I’m going to take it and do what I’m supposed to do with it.”
Dominique Johnson, 21, an accounting student from Jacksonville, said paying household bills ranks high on her list of net check expenses. She also has educational goals for the extra cash.
“I’m going to pay off student loans and buy some of my books with the check,” Johnson said.
Some students use their net check for its intended purposes of covering the cost of living while in college, while others choose to spend their money more frivolously.
Gregg Bishop, a FAMU alumnus, said he remembers hearing stories of how students squandered their finances by buying clothes and flat screen televisions.
“Students need to realize that their net check is not free money,” Bishop said. “To spend your money frivolously says a lot about our generation.”
Loudeline Francois, a fourth-year political science student said she wants her check to last for some time after she receives it. Francois said that like other students, she intends to pay her rent for the duration of the semester and pay off credit card bills.
“I’m not planning to get a job until October,” Francois said. ” My net check has to maintain me at least until then, and hopefully it lasts for about a month and a half after I cash it.”