Managing your money

Students who know how to manage their money may be more likely to graduate. According to America College Testing, one in every four students will not finish college before their completion of sophomore year. Financial pressures are the number one reason why students drop out, according to the study.

Florida A&M’s Office of Counseling Services offers money management workshops every Thursday to help students cope with financial woes. Most students receive financial aid, but in some cases they do not use the money on necessities, said Allison Lockard one of the officer’s counselors.

FAMU counselor Rachelle Jean-Louis, said students who attend money management counseling may see that money has a direct relationship with their stress levels, time management, grades and graduation.

FAMU is ranked eighth in student retention and graduation out of the 11 public universities in Florida, according to the most recent report released by the Florida Board of Governors. Retention rates are based on the number of students who enroll and remain at a university until graduation.

LaTavia Sangster, a junior health management student, said she took off from school for a year and a half because of finances.

“I just got frustrated and decided to wait,” Sangster said.

A 2008 study of retention and graduation rates, conducted by FAMU’s Office of Institutional Research show FAMU has a four-year retention and graduation rate of 15.99 percent. There was a six-year rate of 52.24 percent for enrolled students during the 2000-2001 academic year.

The counseling center’s money management workshops help students look at alternative financial resources, how to recognize necessities versus luxuries, understand credit card use and how to design a budget. Lockard said some students are more conscious when they are being held accountable through the service offered at the counseling center.

Jean-Louis said major problems could be avoided if students seek help with finances early.

“Counseling isn’t effective if I only meet students when they are dealing with a crisis,” she said.

Students can find more information about the Office of Counseling Services by visiting or giving them a call at 599-3145.