What is health insurance? How much does it cost? What is open enrollment? What is the tax penalty? Are there free clinics in my area? What services come with an insurance plan? Who qualifies for Medicaid? Should my kids be on it? What is an urgent care clinic?
Join us to get answers on navigating YOUR health from coverage to care!
Tuesday, June 20th – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus
Most students today don’t have the simple luxury of just attending classes and then going home to study. Many of you have jobs, families, money worries, and car problems. Your financial challenges may make it seem like you are working harder to go forward only to find you’re stuck in place. But we want you to know there are resources and steps you can take to gain traction, earn your degree, and achieve financial stability.
Changing the conversation from worry to solutions. We have talked with students who have come before you about how to lighten the burden, and this is what they say they need:
More information about careers early on in the educational process.
Less time spent on catch up, or remedial, courses that don’t seem to relate to your academic or career goals.
More advice and counseling that’s available and easy to find when you need it.
More understanding and help with financial and logistical challenges that come up–those hard-to-predict life complications.
That last one—finances—is a big deal. Recognizing that you need to be on stronger financial footing might even be at the heart of why you’re here today. So, in addition to being your academic guides, we want to be your financial coaches too.
Connecting your educational goals to your career goals. In addition to solid academics and advising, we offer career counseling and training on specific skills for targeted industries or occupations. If you take advantage of this up front, you’ll streamline the path to the finish line.
Finding income and work supports to tide you over when life gets complicated. We’re working to provide complementary supports that help you complete school and find your financial footing. We’ll ensure that you know about things like emergency aid, food banks, help with transportation, day care, housing; help with filing taxes and FAFSA forms to make sure you can access what you will need.
Linking you to financial services and asset building for the long haul. Everyone needs financial coaching and help in planning their future. We will help you acquire the essential survival tools to manage your finances in a way that gets you not just through school but moving ahead for life. We’ve got exciting courses and partnerships with local financial institutions to make this happen.
The ultimate goal is simple. When you walk out our doors with your degree or certificate in hand, we want you to have a plan for your career or for more study, a sense of financial control for yourself and your family, and the stability that makes pursuing your dreams possible.
Do you have a plan in place to achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals? What about the students you work with — do they? Since April is National Financial Literacy Month and the tax filing season is coming to a close, it is a great time to review your finances and create or update a personalized plan for meeting your financial goals. It is also a great time for students to do the same, which may include filing their 2016 – 2017 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov before the May 1 priority deadline for fall 2016.
So where to begin? When the Financial Aid Office conducts Money Management workshops, they usually start with discussing budgeting and saving. This involves creating a monthly budget, identifying expenses that can be reduced, and attempting to balance the budget and saving the surplus. Students are encouraged to pay themselves first by aiming to save at least 10 percent of each paycheck (if they are employed) and to stash enough away in an emergency fund to cover at least three to six months of expenses.
When you borrow, try to obtain the lowest interest rate possible and pay off the debt as soon as possible (generally starting with debts with the highest interest rate first).
The sooner you start making meaningful contributions to your diversified retirement accounts the better off you are likely to be when you retire.
So how is that financial plan looking? If you need some help getting started, feel free to reach out to our financial coaching partner, Diana Yacob, who is an accredited financial counselor. She provides free financial coaching sessions to members of the community through the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Her contact information is available here. You may also wish to view the resources available on NOVA’s Financial Literacy Blog.
Please encourage students to take advantage of these resources as well and to make good financial decisions. The most important thing to do once you make your financial plan is to stick to it!
Article originally appeared in the Intercom on Monday, April 18, 2016.
The Day of Learning for all Student Services staff was held on March 18. The day was comprised of great speakers including Annandale’s own Suzanne Neff and Dr.Hemchand Gossai. Topics discussed included effective communication, cultural awareness, and departmental and personal goals. The staff also collected food for the Annandale Food Pantry, which is housed in the Student Life Office. Over 112 pound of food was collected.
If you would like to contribute to the pantry, please drop off food items in CF 232.
IRS-certified volunteers will help ensure you receive the maximum tax refund and help determine if you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is an “FSA” or Facilitated Self-Assistance Site, where volunteers will coach you as you file online. If you or your family earned less than $54,000 in 2015, you may qualify for this free service.
Please make sure to bring the following items:
Photo ID for you and your spouse if filing jointly
Social Security cards or Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for everyone in the family
Voided check for direct deposit
Proof of health insurance coverage, i.e. form 1095A, insurance card, Medicare or Medicaid card
All income statements for self and dependts: W-2, W-P, W-2G, 1099, etc.
Expense documents: dependent care, education-related expenses, home mortgage interest payments, student loan interest payments
Free Tax Prep Workshops are located at various NOVA campuses and are open to all students and the community.