Create a realistic budget.
The most important thing I can do to ensure that I start off on the right foot financially is to create a realistic budget and stick to it. Being aware of all of the costs associated with college is the first part. Since I began high school, I have been aware of the cost of college. I plan to be a pharmacist, which requires 4+ years of education, in addition to obtaining my bachelor’s degree. I have worked with my parents to determine the budget and I estimate that my educational costs will be between $250,000 and $500,000. Attending The University of Tennessee for four years, plus four years of pharmacy school will cost roughly $250,000. Attending an out-of-state or private university will double my educational costs to nearly $500,000. This amount can be extremely overwhelming. However, I have worked hard to create and understand a budget for college, and that makes me feel more in control of my finances and my future. The second part is to put together a realistic plan of how to pay for the expenses in the budget. I am aware of the potential problems of taking on student loans, and it is my goal to graduate pharmacy school debt-free. I have worked and almost all the money I have earned has gone directly into my savings account, for college. I have studied hard to ensure that my grades are high and I have significant extracurricular activities so that I am a competitive candidate for scholarships. I have applied to many meaningful scholarships to help offset tuition costs. In college, I plan to continue to apply for scholarships and to obtain a job and internships to help pay for school. All of these steps will ensure my financial success and independence.
Emily Suttle, Franklin HS