Your First College Assignment: Think About Your Finances

Your First College Assignment: Think About Your Finances

Paul Jarvis, CFP® Encourages College Students to Start Planning for the Future


Washington, D.C., August 16, 2013 – With back-to-school season in full swing, millions of soon-to-be college students are packing their bags, preparing to be on their own for the first time.  As they prepare for a new academic year away from the comforts of home and cope with feelings of anticipation and excitement, they must also be prepared to make a number of significant financial decisions without the help of mom and dad.


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (“CFP Board”) Ambassador Paul Jarvis, CFP® encourages college students to start their college experience on the right financial foot by equipping themselves with the information they need to make smart financial decisions.


“College students are at a crucial point in their lives where proper planning and financial education can propel them towards success through and after college,” says Jarvis.


In the latest installment of CFP Board’s “Let’s Talk Planning” blog and the fourth feature in its “Financial Planning is for Everyone” series, there are several questions that all college students should be asking:


  • What can I do to build a good foundation for my future earnings and long-term wealth? 

Your focus should be simple: Do as much as you can to enhance your earnings potential, such as choosing a major in a field that you not only love, but is in demand by employers.


  • How do I manage my debt and build the credit I’ll need once I graduate?

Managing your debt and keeping your credit score healthy is imperative for your post-grad plans. Be as conscientious about paying your bills on time as you are about turning in your assignments. And remember that credit cards are not free money – don’t use them for purchases you otherwise can’t afford.


  • What financial mistakes should I avoid?

Avoid getting in over your head with student loan debt – make sure the total amount of your undergraduate student loans is no more than the typical first-year salary in the field you plan to enter.


  • Where can I go for guidance?

You’ve probably heard that financial advisers focus on older clients with positive net worth and ample investible assets, not young adults.  However, you can often find a qualified CFP® professional who is happy to help. Take those research skills that helped get you into college and use them to find a financial planner who will charge hourly to get you started.  Most CFP® professionals will gladly extend their services to children of their clients.               


Young people may be money-poor, but are rich in time, which is a powerful wealth builder.  The decisions they make while they are young will impact their financial situation for decades to come.  With the help of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ®, college students can build a plan to guide those choices and secure their futures.



“Let’s Talk Planning” is a blog by CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, with posts each week with practical financial planning tips for consumers, as well as insights into the latest developments at CFP Board.  In addition to offering counsel on timely and evergreen financial planning topics, once a month Blayney will remind readers that “financial planning is for everyone,” with tips for consumers of all ages and life stages.



The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 68,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.


CONTACT: Paul Jarvis, CFP Board Ambassador P: 701-451-3059 E: ; Jessica Lewis, Communications Specialist P: 202-379-2256 M: 202-550-8259 E:


The information in this article is not intended to be tax and/or legal advice and should not be treated as such. You should consult with your tax advisor and/or attorney to discuss your personal situation before making any decisions.

Additionally, If you are looking for additional help, seek help from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional that can look at your individual situation holistically.