Spring classes remain online/remote, as are college offices. You can find COVID-19 information here.

Financial Literacy

College is a time of newfound freedom for many students. That can spell trouble if that freedom applies to personal finances, too. Students need to understand basic money management skills such as living within a budget and handling credit and debt. A solid financial foundation can lead to a lifetime of financial success.

upcoming webinars

Return to Repayment: The Precautions & the Preparation
Tuesday, Nov. 17

The pandemic continues and the CARES Act that has afforded some relief to all student loan borrowers by bringing you current and eliminating the need for payments has been extended to 2021. As the resume repayment date draws closer, borrowers and schools will be dealing with a much different landscape of repayment than has been seen in the past.

Understanding the effects of a mass resume date on student loan repayment can help you understand the impact it may have on your loans. In this express session, we will talk about the challenges this presents for students and schools along with recommendations on steps to take to ease the strain.


Getting Ready for Student Loan Repayment
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

If you’re preparing to graduate, don’t plan to return to school, or will drop below half-time enrollment, the repayment clock will soon begin ticking on your federal loans. Head into repayment with the information you need to make smart choices and avoid costly mistakes. This one-hour session will cover the basics of student loan repayment, including:

  • How to save time and money throughout the life of your loan(s)
  • How to choose a loan repayment plan that works best for your finances
  • Options that allow you to avoid default and delinquency

This session is a great way to hear exit counseling concepts explained, with the opportunity to have your questions answered by an expert.


150% Time Limitation on Loan Subsidy

This legislation limits the timeframe for which you are eligible to receive the subsidy on Federal Direct student loans and it impacts students considered to be new borrowers after July 1, 2013. New borrowers include:

  • Those who have never borrowed a Federal Direct student loan prior to July 1, 2013
  • Those who have previously borrowed, but have a zero balance due as of July 1, 2013

This legislation limits Federal Direct Subsidized loans to 150% of the length of a student's academic program. For example, new student borrowers in a two-year program can only receive subsidized loans for three years. The length of time is measured in academic years. Students who reach this limit may be eligible for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans if they are otherwise eligible to receive them.

Furthermore, students who reach the 150% point and have not yet completed their program will lose the subsidy on all outstanding subsidized loans. The loans do not enter repayment at this point; however, the borrower becomes responsible for paying the interest rather than the government. This limit is based on the amount of time a student is enrolled in a program and not the amount the student borrows (with some exceptions). Less than full-time enrollment status will impact the length of time a borrower is eligible for the interest subsidy. The legislation was passed in hopes of encouraging students to complete programs of study more quickly and allowances are granted when a student completes a degree/certificate within the 150% timeframe.

It is important to note that this is separate from Satisfactory Academic Progress, aggregate loan limits, and the Pell grant lifetime eligibility used limits. Approval of Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals will not extend the length of time in which you will qualify for the subsidy on student loans. This is very new and complicated legislation. The Department of Education is still trying to find out the logistics of how some of this will all work and they continue to offer information to us as it is available. If you would like more information we encourage you to come to the HCC Financial Aid Office during our regular business hours to meet with the counselor-on-call. They can assist you in reviewing your borrowing history and explaining how this legislation will impact you.

Read additional information from the U.S. Department of Education.

setting up your spring budget

When designing your spring budget, keep these potential season-specific expenses in mind:

  • Mother's Day
  • Graduation gifts
  • Memorial Day
  • Gardening
  • Summer camps and sports
  • Warm-weather clothing and accessories
  • Outdoor entertainment
  • Pool membership
  • Weddings
  • Vacation

Use the CashCourse Monthly Budget Worksheet to make a budget that works for you. To register, click here, type in your information, and select your school. This will allow you access to Holyoke Community College's CashCourse school site.  

budgeting tips

Visit OnYourOwn.org for tips about how to create and stick to a budget. 


Why 529?  
The problem is clear: Student loan debt in America is reaching levels that the U.S. Department of Education deems a crisis. 

Why 529? 
To increase access to higher education and help alleviate the burden of student loan debt on our society.

Why 529?
529 college savings plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that help families save for higher education so they can be less reliant on student loans.

Check out this resource to learn more about the 529 movement and how 529 college savings plans can work for you and your family.

Whether you're planning for college, trying to pay for college, or graduating and thinking about your future, the financial decisions you make today will impact you  well into your future.

Money management, financial literacy, and budgeting are important for you to know and understand to ensure you are making good decisions for your personal finances and your future.

To help you navigate these decisions, Holyoke Community College has partnered with CashCourse, which provides free financial literacy resources for college students via an interactive website devoted to helping students build money management skills, survive in a tough economy, and prepare for success. 

Use CashCourse to
  1. Create a budget
  2. Learn about the benefits of checking and savings accounts
  3. Protect your credit
  4. Plan for retirement
  5. Set financial goals
  6. Read more about financial aid
  7. Learn about so much more!

To register, please click here and then type in your information and select your school. This will allow you access to Holyoke Community College's CashCourse School Site.

Net Price Calculator

These calculators will help you get an estimate of the amount of grant aid you might expect to receive if you attend HCC full-time and meet all federal and state financial aid eligibility requirements.


Contact us

Questions? Contact the Financial Aid office:

Frost 201