College Students Take Charge of Their Financial Futures
REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 26, 1998 — College is the first time most students are expected to be financially independent. However, many students are unprepared for the financial responsibilities they will encounter during and after college. About half the class of 1998 will have accumulated an average of $13,600 in student loans upon graduation and will be expected to repay them at approximately $163 a month for almost seven years, according to the Student Loan Marketing Association.
A recent Microsoft® Money 98 survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. International showed that roughly half of adult Americans learned about money management from their parents. And since only 14 states mandate financial instruction in high school, according to the Financial Literacy 2001 Project, it may be unrealistic to expect today’s students to manage the rising costs of college when they lack solid training, sufficient funds or financial tools.
Microsoft Money 98 E-Scholarship Contest Assists Students
Recognizing that students need help in shaping a successful financial future, Microsoft Money 98 recently went online with an electronic scholarship essay contest. The contest was designed to give winning students immediate monetary assistance and introduce them to personal finance software tools and Internet resources that can help them take charge of their finances. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced the 10 contest winners, each of whom will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship and money management tools to set them on the right course throughout their lives. (See the attached addendum for a complete list of winners.)
“Unfortunately, students are invariably exposed to the importance of financial responsibility only after finding themselves plunged into the world of bills, student loans and mounting credit-card debt,” said Arlette Cox, product marketing manager, personal finance business unit at Microsoft. “We believe that if students develop good financial habits at an early age, they will likely continue to be financially responsible and understand the importance of lifelong financial planning.”
Contest winner Tim Young, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, agreed. “In 1996 my dad had a severe stroke, leaving him unable to work or take care of finances,” he said. “I had to pick up in this capacity and started using Microsoft Money to organize our family’s finances. We’ve gotten out of debt without significant changes to our lifestyle. I can personally testify that Microsoft Money is the reason my family is financially safe and that our recent decline in wages hasn’t jeopardized my ability to stay in school.”
More than 2,500 college students nationwide entered the contest. In addition to tuition funds, each winner will receive a free copy of Microsoft’s personal finance software, Money 98 Financial Suite.
Money Management Software Tools
Microsoft offers two versions of its personal finance software – Money 98 and
Money 98 Financial Suite. Money 98 focuses on the essentials of money management – from bill paying and banking to budgeting and expense tracking to overall financial management. The Financial Suite includes all the capabilities of Money 98 plus financial planning and investment management tools, interactive worksheets and an integrated financial guide to help users make smart financial decisions.
Money 98 Financial Suite features a vast array of tools to assist students with managing debt, tracking short- and long-term goals, researching investment opportunities and planning for the future:
The Budget and Savings Planner helps users anticipate expenses as well as set reasonable spending limits and savings goals. Expenses can be categorized to suit the student’s needs, such as books, student loans, tuition, entertainment and transportation.
The Debt Reduction Planner helps students see the implications of accumulating debt on high-interest credit cards and other loans. It helps them create an achievable plan that can keep them debt free.
The Money Insider
™ interactive financial guide provides up-to-date articles from leading financial experts on topics including planning for college, financial aid and buying a car. The guide integrates with the Money Insider Web site ( http://moneyinsider.MSN.com/ ) to give students access to the latest financial tools and information. Beyond college, Money Insider can help with other lifetime events such as buying a home, planning for retirement or planning an investment portfolio.
Money 98 Financial Suite and Money 98 are available everywhere Microsoft products are retailed, for estimated prices of $54.95 and $29.95, respectively. To download a free 90-day trial version of Money 98 Financial Suite (connect-time charges may apply), visit the Money 98 Web site ( http://www.microsoft.com/money/ ).
Microsoft Money 98 Scholarship Contest
To enter the contest, students downloaded a free trial version of Money 98 Financial Suite, answered five product-related questions and prepared a 500-word “financial fitness” essay. The entrants then submitted their applications electronically through the FastWeb site ( http://www.fastweb.com/ ), the largest free Internet scholarship search service with a database of more than 180,000 private scholarships. Contestants were required to be full-time students, age 18 or older and enrolled at an accredited college or university.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft and Money Insider are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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Microsoft Money E-Scholarship Winners
Age 20, Waltham, Mass., New York University
Age 19, Carol Stream, Ill., University of Pennsylvania
Age 22, Jacksonville, Ark., Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University
Age 22, Burke, Va., Brigham Young University
Age 23, Houston, University of Houston
Age 37, Seattle, Seattle University
Age 22, Medford, N.J., Duke University
Age 27, North Liberty, La., University of Pennsylvania
Age 38, San Francisco, California College of Arts and Crafts
Age 21, Yukon, Okla., University of Oklahoma