PHEAA Recognizes April as Financial Literacy Month

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MySmartBorrowing.org helps students and families avoid excessive or unnecessary student loan debt

Harrisburg, PA (April 9, 2014)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is encouraging high school students and their families to develop smart borrowing practices, especially during April, which is being recognized today as Financial Literacy Month by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

"PHEAA works diligently to help college-bound students avoid unnecessary loan debt," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "As student debt levels continue to increase, it is more important than ever for families to take advantage of the resources that can help them establish a financially-responsible higher education success plan."

According to recent reports, a 4-year college student in Pennsylvania who borrows money to pay for school is graduating with an average student loan debt exceeding $30,000.

PHEAA has consistently advocated for avoiding unnecessary loan debt and has been leading efforts in Pennsylvania with extensive community outreach and easy-to-use online tools and other resources.

PHEAA recently launched its newest and most feature-packed student debt awareness and college planning initiative - MySmartBorrowing.org.

This new tool engages high school students and their families early in the planning process, helping them to make smart choices at each of the most important decision points as they develop their higher education funding plan.

"MySmartBorrowing.org assists users in answering many of the most important questions that can help them avoid unaffordable student loan debt down the road," said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. "The first steps are often the most crucial, so it's important to start smart."

MySmartBorrowing.org provides unique estimators that help determine a student's possible costs at different schools, future salary expectations for a particular degree, availability of related employment opportunities, and their potential ability to repay student loans comfortably while also affording an independent lifestyle after graduation.

For graduates and soon-to-be graduates, PHEAA offers YouCanDealWithIt.com, which provides practical advice on how to deal with common financial situations, such as:

Students and families are encouraged to visit PHEAA on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid, where they can view videos offering advice and direction on a variety of topics related to higher education.