Helena College School Code 007570


It really is possible to obtain your degree with little or no debt.

Check out the Helena College Facebook page for Wise Wednesdays articles and upcoming events.

November's FinLit Theme: Surviving the Holidays 

Your FinLit Weekly Article:

Holiday Spending Survival Guide

Your Weekly FinLit Fast Fact:

Clean your house before the holidays. You'll be amazed at what you have left over (and stuffed in a cabinet) from last year (wrapping paper, bows, tape, decor).


November's Wise Wednesday

Know your options

  • FREE MONEY!  There are a number of scholarships available to you as a Helena College Student.  These scholarships are due throughout the entire year so it is important to monitor our scholarship page monthly. This is money you do not have to pay back; it is worth your time to apply.
  • Work Study is another option. Work study is campus based employment that is willing to work around your academic schedule.  Check our website for openings.
  • Personal Matched Savings Accounts enable individuals to save and build assets more quickly than they can on their own. These accounts allow you to save for assets you may need, including a new computer, a washer and dryer, or just to save for emergencies.
  • Deferred Payment Plans through Business Services. This plan will split your tuition and mandatory fees into 4 payments throughout the semester.

Know How Much you Borrow

  • Before accepting a student loan, remember loans must be repaid.  Loans are the last type of aid you should consider.  Grants, Scholarships, Work Study, or Pay as you go should always be considered first.  If you are not planning on attending school in the summer this is a great opportunity to earn income for the upcoming academic year.
  • Keep track of your student loan debt! To find out how much you owe visit www.nslds.ed.gov
    • The number one defense for default is communication. There are several payment plan options available to you, some with payments as little as ten dollars a month.
    • Your loan service providers are there to help you and if you stay in communication with them they will work with you!  A defaulted loan will cost you higher interest rates, voided licenses (including all professional, drivers, and hunting/fishing licenses), wage and/or tax refund garnishment, and social security payments.
    • See what your loan payment would be by visiting paybacksmarter.com to help you manage your student loan debt.  At this site you will be able to enter your financial situation to see what payment plans are available to you.
    • Benefits of paying interest on your Unsubsidized loan while in school and during your grace period.

Tools and Resources for Money Management

  • For a great budget builder visit youcandealwithit.com. Do not forget once you get your budget built you need to keep it current.  Re-evaluate and make adjustments as necessary!
  • Manage your money better with www.mint.com 
  • Don't forget to show your student ID when you shop, you can receive student discounts! Ask about a list of local discounts in the Welcome Center.
  • www.cashcourse.org provides personal finance tips and other helpful resources.
  • www.practicalmoneyskills.com provides personal finance tips, games, apps, calculators and other helpful resources.
  • www.saltmoney.org provides articles, tools, apps, comics and videos to help you learn to better manager your money.

Financial Responsibility

Your student loan dollars should be used only for items directly related to your college education.

Simply put:

If you don’t need it and you have to borrow money to pay for it, you shouldn’t buy it.

Below is an example of two students that attended Helena College, John and Tony. John took all the loan money that was offered to him and attended 7 semesters to get his Associates degree. Tony was very conservative with loans and took only what he needed. He finished his program and received his Associates degree in five semesters.

John’s Financial Aid History/ 7 Semesters

Tony’s Financial Aid History/ 5 Semesters

Tuition, fees, and books   $14,700.00

Tuition, fees, and books   $10,500.00

PELL        $19,757.00

PELL        $14,112.00

LOANS    $35,750.00

LOANS    $ 5,000.00

Total Debt Plus Interest  $48,000.00

Total Debt Plus Interest   $6,905.00

Wage would need to exceed $60,000.00

Wage would need to be $10,000.00

Approximate payment = $412.00/ 10 Years

Approximate payment = $58.00/ 10 Years

Your borrowing and spending decisions will determine your debt. For more information on your responsibilities visit YouCanDealWithIt

Make on-time monthly payments every month during repayment. Having your loans paid automatically from your bank account is the best way to insure that you stay on track.

The Financial Aid office at Helena College is here to help.  Please call 447-6900 with any questions.

Contact Fund Wiser at fundwiser@umhelena.edu.