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Students Fail Personal Finance

American college students bounce checks, revolve credit card purchases and will rack an average of $15,000 in post-graduate according to recent survey conducted by Quicken. The survey found that 67% of college students now have credit cards with 71% of student cardholders revolving balances monthly. Almost half of the students surveyed admitted to bouncing a check during college. The Quicken survey found that less than half of college students balance their checkbook on a monthly basis, and almost three out of four students have called home and asked their parents for money. Yet, twenty-seven percent of students make a valiant effort of keeping track of their money by trying to record at least some of the checks they have written. Additionally, 10% of students leave their finances up to their parents and 9% leave balancing their checkbook up to fate. Most students estimate they will have an average debt of more than $15,000 upon graduation. Interestingly, incoming freshmen who are probably less familiar with the cost of college expect to have approximately $8,300 in debt upon graduation, while their senior counterparts expect to have accumulated more than $16,000 in post-graduate debt.

FULL STORY:
As students pack up for graduation and summer vacation, the subjects that most of them failed this semester were personal finance and how to balance their checkbooks. Almost half of students have bounced a check during college, according to a recent survey conducted by Quicken.

The Quicken survey found that less than half of college students balance their checkbook on a monthly basis, and almost three out of four students have called home and asked their parents for money. Yet, twenty-seven percent of students make a valiant effort of keeping track of their money by trying to record at least some of the checks they have written. Additionally, 10% of students leave their finances up to their parents and 9% leave balancing their checkbook up to fate.

One item which college students seem to be fated for is post-graduate debt. Most students estimate they will have an average debt of more than $15,000 upon graduation. Interestingly, incoming freshmen who are probably less familiar with the cost of college expect to have approximately $8,300 in debt upon graduation, while their senior counterparts expect to have accumulated more than $16,000 in post-graduate debt.

“Gaining control of your finances is the last step to total independence for most college students,” says sisters Leah and Elina Furman, recent college graduates and authors of The Everything After College Book. “The key to successfully managing your money and paying off debt is to stay on a budget, track where your money goes, and use financial tools, like Quicken and Quicken.com, that allow you to do it all yourself.”

Quicken allows students to manage expenses and document each credit card expenditure. Students can learn more about their finances, including debt, budgets, taxes and investing through sister web site, Quicken.com (http://www.quicken.com) for free. Here are some additional personal finance tips for college students from the Furmans

* Budget. Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Set aside ten minutes a day, just before you turn in for the night, to calculate all the day’s expenses. Quicken and Quicken.com can help you stay on budget and make going through your wallet with a fine-toothed comb an easy task. Don’t forget to tally even the smallest purchases.

* Live as You Save. Be realistic about your needs and don’t deprive yourself of allowances that you know you will spend money on like movies, books or eating out. Keep your lifestyle in mind and budget accordingly. This way, one weekend movie marathon won’t break your monthly budget.

* Bargain-Hunt. Clip coupons, buy generic or items on sale at the grocery story and avoid ordering take-out every night of the week. With retro being all the rage, shop in thrift stores and resale shops for clothes. Check the Internet for travel bargains and enjoy low-cost offerings in you local neighborhood like museums, zoos and the park.

The Quicken survey, conducted by Bruskin Goldring Research, is based on in-person campus interviews with 543 college and graduate students across the country conducted between April 13-17, 1998.

Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq INTU), a financial software and Web-based services company, develops and markets Quicken, the leading personal finance software; TurboTax(R), the best-selling tax preparation software; and QuickBooks(R), the most popular small business accounting software. Intuit’s Quicken.com Web site offers a complete set of personal finance news, information, and tools, including retirement planning resources and the leading mutual fund and insurance sites. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses, and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives.

NOTE Intuit, the Intuit logo, Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax, among others, are registered trademarks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries. Quicken.com, among others, is a trademark of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries.

                      QUICKEN COLLEGE SURVEY FACT SHEET

    ALMOST HALF OF STUDENTS (48%) HAVE BOUNCED A CHECK DURING COLLEGE
     * Male             49%
     * Female           47%

    ALMOST THREE OUT OF FOUR STUDENTS (72%) HAVE CALLED HOME FOR MONEY DURING
    COLLEGE
     * Male             70%
     * Female           73%

    ABOUT TWO OUT OF FIVE OF STUDENTS REPORT BALANCING THEIR CHECKBOOK EVERY
    MONTH
     * Balance checkbook every month             42%
     * Record some checks during the month       27%
     * Parents handle finances                   10%
     * Use personal finance software             10%
     * Leave it up to fate                        9%

    STUDENTS SPEND MORE THAN HALF THEIR MONEY ON FOOD
     * Food                  59%
     * Housing               57%
     * Entertainment         53%
     * Books                 49%
     * Tuition               49%
     * Clothing              45%
     * Music                 28%
     * Beer                  25%
     * Travel                22%

    TWO OUT OF THREE STUDENTS HAVE A CREDIT CARD
     * Have credit cards                                   67%
     * Carry balance (among those with a credit card)      71%

    MOST STUDENTS EARN THEIR MONEY FROM A SUMMER JOB
     * Earn money from a summer job                        62%
     * Get allowance from parents                          55%
     * Work a part-time job during the school year         53%
     * Use student loan money as a source of income        38%
     * Use stipend or scholarship as a source of income    30%
     * Work-study job                                      16%

    COLLEGE STUDENTS EXPECT THE AVERAGE DEBT TO BE $15,215 UPON GRADUATION
     * Average debt expected by a Freshman            $ 8,343
     * Average debt expected by a Sophomore           $16,385
     * Average debt expected by a Junior              $16,420
     * Average debt expected by a Senior              $16,420
     * Average debt expected by a Graduate            $21,403

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