Do you find yourself stressing out about finances and budgeting? As college students, it can be very challenging to balance a full course load, extracurriculars, time with friends, and maintaining a healthy mental and physical state of mind. On top of this, working to pay bills and cover other expenses, as well as putting money into savings for the future can create stress among young college students.

Thankfully, there is iGrad, a free platform for college students to explore important financial topics, such as assistance with Direct Loans, setting financial goals during college, and learning the basics of budgeting for the semester. Since discovering that Chapman has partnered with iGrad, I signed up to explore the benefits this website gives students and also discovered more about myself, my spending habits, and planning finances for the future, which are all aspects I desperately needed with entering into a new phase in my life.

When you set up your iGrad account, you will fill out a couple questionnaires to get a baseline for your financial and budgeting literacy. This resource highly values self-accountability with your finances, so the first questionnaire tests your financial status with a checkup and gives you recommendations to help track your progress on your financial wellness journey. A majority of the questions are about any loans you owe or are in the process of paying. It will also ask for bank statements to get an indication of where you are in terms of finances. Then, you complete an intriguing questionnaire on understanding your money personality. This is to get a sense of your money spending habits, goals you want to attain around spending/budgeting in the future, and planning the money you want to set aside for the long-term future, like retirement, wedding plans, and starting a family. 

After completing both questionnaires, I discovered my own personal money habits and realized changes I wanted to make in the future, as well as the importance of understanding my finances now to plan for the future. These are all incredibly helpful for a new graduate to understand. iGrad provides online courses you can take on topics to help you be more financially literate, such as banking beyond checking and savings, buying a home and understanding mortgages, assessing your insurance needs, buying/leasing a car, and more. These courses are here to better assist not only college students, but also parents in helping you achieve your goals, or work as a family to become more financially educated. 

iGrad has many other helpful tools to help you plan your financial goals, such as scholarship or job searching databases, tracking your student loans, live webinars to talk with financial experts, and more. There is also a community tab to engage and discuss questions regarding student loans and money budgeting with experts, which is helpful to receive answers on questions you may have in a timely manner. These tools are exceptionally useful to gain insightful advice on job searches, budgeting, and connecting with others to grow your network, making it an open and safe space to learn and become more advanced in your career.

I really love that this platform is centered around achieving your dreams and giving you a lot of resources to do so. As college students, we have big dreams for the future and what we want to accomplish in life, but you can’t get there without planning ahead. Good financial literacy is key to be successful every step of the way. Thankfully, iGrad can help you plan ahead and give you a chance to achieve your goals. 

Sign up for free with your Chapman credentials through this link.