By Bruce Whitehurst, President & CEO, Virginia Bankers Association
As college students head to campus this fall, money management should be on their personal syllabus. It’s important for college students to take control of their financial future by saving wherever and whenever they can. They should treat personal finance like a required college course and avoid unnecessary expenses now to reduce financial burden when they graduate.
Students should consider the following tips to form a strong foundation for money management:
- Create a budget. You’re an adult now and are responsible for managing your own finances. The first step is to create a realistic budget or plan and stick to it.
- Watch spending. Keep receipts and track spending through a personal financial management app or through Excel or a similar program. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping so that your money can last throughout the semester.
- Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation. It is important to start using credit now so that when you apply for a car loan, a personal loan, or a mortgage, you will have a credit history, which will help your credit score. Shop around for a credit card that best suits your needs.
- Take advantage of your bank’s resources. Most banks offer online, mobile and text banking tools to manage your account night and day. Use these tools to check balances, pay bills, deposit checks and monitor transaction history.
- Look out for money. There’s a lot of money available for students – you just have to look for it. Apply for scholarships and look for student discounts or other deals.
- Buy used. Consider buying used books or ordering them online. Buying books can become expensive and often used books are in just as good of shape as new ones.
- Entertain on a budget. Limit your “hanging out” fund. There are lots of fun activities to keep you busy in college and many are free for students. Get the most from your student ID. Use your meal plan or cook meals with friends instead of eating out.
- Avoid ATM fees when possible. Use your bank’s ATM when possible and be aware of fees when using other ATMs. If you must use an ATM that charges a fee, take out larger withdrawals to avoid having to go back multiple times.
- Expect the unexpected. Things happen, and it’s important that you are financially prepared when your car or computer breaks down or you have to buy an unexpected bus or plane ticket home. You should start putting some money away immediately, no matter how small the amount.
- Ask. This is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your bank are a good place to start, and remember – the sooner the better.
Pop-Up School Supply Drive: Help make a big difference for Henrico County students
While Henrico County Public Schools’ 2020-21 school year will begin using a fully virtual format, students still need school supplies. Here’s how you can help.
While Henrico County Public Schools’ 2020-21 school year will begin using a fully virtual format, students still need school supplies. Besides standard supplies such as highlighters and notebooks, many families also need assistance with supplies that might normally be found in a classroom, such as whiteboards and pencil sharpeners.
You can help by dropping off supplies at a Pop-Up School Supply Drive Thursday from 1:30-3 p.m. at Mad Science of Central Virginia in Glen Allen. To prioritize safety, the drop-off will use a drive-thru format, with social distancing and mask-use in effect. The drive is sponsored by HCPS’ Department of Family and Community Engagement. Some needed items are listed below.
It takes place Thursday, July 30 from 1:30-3 p.m. at Mad Science of Central Virginia, 11551 Nuckols Road. Contact Van-Neisha Johnson at 804-328-8110 or [email protected].
Elementary school items:
- Wide-ruled notebook paper
- No. 2 pencils
- Black and white composition notebooks
- Lined index cards
- Pocket folders
- Washable markers
- Glue sticks
- Child-sized scissors
- Pencil boxes
Middle and high school items:
- College-ruled notebook paper
- No. 2 pencils
- Blue, black and red pens
- Spiral notebooks
- Lined index cards
- Three-ring binders
- Colored pencils
- Four-function calculators
- Dry-erase markers
- Washable markers
Virtual learning family support items:
- Calendar anchor charts
- Flashcards for all grade levels (math, sight words, language arts, shapes, and colors, etc.)
- Classroom organization charts
- Pencil boxes
- Three-ring binders
- Paint and paintbrushes
- Workbooks (for all grade levels)
- Binder rings
- Index cards
- Wooden craft sticks
- Current wall maps and globes
- Hole punches
- Pencil sharpeners
- Red correcting pencils
- Staplers and staples
- File folders
- Treasure chest/prize box incentives
- Post-it Notes
- Ink cartridges
- Printer paper
- Magnetic letters and numbers
Henrico Schools to follow Richmond’s lead and go with all-virtual fall semester
The move follows Richmond Public Schools’ lead on the decision and will require a School Board vote this Thursday.
In a decision that prioritizes the health and safety of employees, students and families, Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Amy Cashwell announced today that she will recommend a fully virtual start to the 2020-21 school year as Virginia continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Cashwell’s public announcement comes in advance of the Henrico County School Board’s Thursday meeting to hold a formal vote on the recommendation. The virtual approach would be in place for at least the first nine weeks of the school year, which begins Sept. 8.
“As heartbreaking as it would be to not see all our students in person on Sept. 8, it is clear to me that this is the most prudent recommendation at this time, based on evolving health information,” Cashwell said in messages to HCPS employees and student households.
September’s virtual learning experience will be different than the one students encountered in the wake of the school division’s March closure.
“Henrico Edflix offered a lot of great material, and we’re very proud of it,” Cashwell said. “It was an emergency learning tool that provided flexibility for staff and students in bringing the school year to a sudden close in the middle of a crisis.
“For months, we have known that a virtual option would be included for the 2020-21 school year and our staff members have been working long hours to create a redesigned, developmentally appropriate experience that is rich, structured, robust, and graded.”
Cashwell elaborated on her recommendation in a video posted to the school division’s YouTube channel and social media:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni3UBckxu1A&feature=youtu.be.
Visit “HCPS 2020-21: Mission Forward” return-to-school page at https://henricoschools.us/returntoschool/ for the latest information. More information about virtual learning will be made available on an ongoing basis.
Henrico County Public Schools will continue to work with health experts to evaluate pandemic conditions in Virginia and the Richmond region, and regularly assess the feasibility of incorporating in-person attendance for students and staff members.
While HCPS had already decided to make fully virtual attendance one option for the 2020-21 school year, the school division also considered starting the year with pathways that included in-person attendance. A hybrid model would combine some rotating in-person attendance with virtual learning. The school division also looked at the feasibility of allowing students to attend school in person five days a week. Depending on health and safety conditions, in-person options may be incorporated later in the school year. All would include social distancing and rigorous safety protocols as recommended by health experts.
The School Board will vote on Cashwell’s recommendation at a Thursday in-person meeting, scheduled for noon at New Bridge Learning Center in eastern Henrico County.
In-person attendance will conform to Virginia’s current health and safety guidelines. In accordance with the policy for access to all buildings operated by Henrico County, attendees aged 10 and older are required to wear masks. Masks will be provided for those needing them, and the seating policy will reflect social distancing guidelines. Attendees will also undergo a brief health screening before entering, including having their temperature taken using a no-contact thermometer. They will also be asked a shortlist of health-screening questions.
Those not attending can view a livestream of the meeting by going to https://henricoschools.us.
VCU details August return with in-person, online courses, free COVID-19 testing
As colleges across the country determine if classes should be held online to prevent the coronavirus spread, Virginia Commonwealth University is planning for students to return in August with a mix of in-person, hybrid and online courses. One dorm will be used as a low-acuity hospital while some first-year students are housed in a nearby hotel.
By Hannah Eason
Virginia Commonwealth University’s fall semester classes are slated to begin Aug. 17 with a mixture of in-person, hybrid and online courses, per a release from President Michael Rao on Tuesday.
Students received updated information to their VCU emails on Wednesday morning regarding courses and resources available to “navigate any changes.”
“We recognize that not every member of our community has equal access to the technology, support, and personal space that makes remote learning possible,” Rao said. “We will leave no one behind because our mission needs the vital perspectives and clear voice of all of us.”
The release stated that to ensure a safe return to campus, every member of the VCU community must adhere to safety guidelines like social distancing, wearing masks, disinfecting spaces and frequent hand-washing.
The university will provide masks, hand sanitizer and other items to help students and employees stay healthy. Before returning to campus, all students and faculty members will complete online safety protocol training and undergo daily health assessments.
Students who plan to live on campus must test negative for COVID-19 before moving in. On-campus housing is available to students enrolled in both in-person and online classes, and online-only courses do not break a student housing contract, per VCU Residential Life and Housing. Students can cancel fall-semester housing contracts by visiting this site.
The Graduate hotel at 301 W. Franklin St. is listed as a residence hall for first-year students. Honors College students can choose to stay in either the hotel or the Gladding Residence Center. The Honors College Residence Hall will hold low-acuity patients for VCU Health Systems during the academic year.
Students will receive move-in details through their VCU emails by the week of July 20. VCU will provide COVID-19 testing kits for students moving on campus. Non-residential students and employees with COVID-19 symptoms will also receive free testing. Asymptomatic students and employees will receive COVID-19 testing for an undetermined fee.
“This is, and will continue to be, a time of necessary adherence to safety measures and to supporting our classmates and colleagues. This includes continued access to mental health resources,” Rao stated. “And it includes remaining flexible and recognizing that our circumstances and plans may change, and we all may need to adapt to the changing situations around us.”
Additional information from VCU on COVID-19 and fall semester can be found at together.vcu.edu/protocols.