PHEAA Encourages Students and Graduates to Make Wise Financial Choices, Especially Over the Holidays

Main Content offers tools to manage financial decisions

Harrisburg, PA (December 18, 2013)—The holiday season is a time when we like to show how much we appreciate our friends and loved ones. It is also a time when students and recent graduates, who may be living on tight budgets and learning to manage their finances, can over-spend and put themselves at risk of getting into difficult financial situations.

"It is always a good idea to practice wise spending habits," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "But it is especially important to be financially smart when participating in the spirit of giving during the holidays. The goal is to celebrate within your financial means so you don't place your financial responsibilities at risk."

Students or recent graduates can navigate this financially stressful time of year in many ways:

  • Set a realistic budget, which can help you gauge how and when you should spend money for gifts.
  • Be disciplined when shopping at department stores or online where so many items can lure you into spending beyond your means—prudent shopping can eliminate the temptation to buy additional items that are not necessary.
  • Shopping at consignment stores can save money while providing the opportunity to find a gift that is especially unique.
  • Consider giving a gift of a special skill or your personal time instead of a physical gift. Such a gift could include babysitting, running errands or cooking a nice dinner.
  • Do it yourself by creating a homemade gift, such as baked goods or a personalized card or craft.

Beyond smart gift giving, PHEAA's debt management website,, offers a comprehensive guide to decisions and situations that college students and recent graduates could encounter and offers resources and tools to help them successfully manage financial decisions.

The site offers budgeting tips, saving strategies, tax deduction information, debt management strategies, information on the benefits and dangers of credit cards, and other tools to help students afford higher education and successfully enter the workforce on sound financial footing.

"Our goal is for students to graduate with manageable debt and be successful guardians of their financial responsibilities," said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board of Directors Vice Chairman. "Over-borrowing during their school years or over-charging on credit cards can significantly affect their lifestyles after graduation, but there are free resources students can access to help reduce their debt levels."

In addition to, which helps graduates and soon-to-be graduates manage their finances, these free resources include This interactive online tool encourages potential college students and their families to avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary student loan debt by helping them to understand the long-term implications of the various decisions that are necessary for a student's higher education success plan.

For information on the higher education financial aid process, schedules for upcoming Financial Aid Nights and FAFSA® Completion Sessions, reminders of financial aid deadlines, and video clips offering tips and information pertaining to planning for higher education, students can join PHEAA on Facebook at