Financial Wellness
COUNTING AHEAD : Financial Wellness Initiative

Counting Ahead: Ensuring Students' Financial Wellness

Whether you love it or hate it, have a lot of it, or very little, there is no escaping the influence that money can have on your education, career, relationships, extracurricular activities, health, and most aspects of life As you embark on your college journey, it’s important to understand how money really ‘works.’

Now is a great time to learn about making money, managing money, saving money – and how to make informed decisions about money. Build the fundamental tools and necessary skills that will help you make informed decisions about short-term and long-term finances.


The information and resources below can help you get started on your pathway to financial literacy.

CollegeBuys: Discounted Educational Supplies

CollegeBuys, powered by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, offers discounts of up to 85 percent on a wide range of educational products—from industry-leading software and technology to high quality office and classroom furniture. Start shopping for supplies now!

Credit Score

Do you know your credit score? Credit affects more aspects of your life than you may realize — the ability to buy a home or car, get a credit card, rent an apartment, or even get a job can be affected by your credit score. Check out What’s Your Credit Score?

Financial Success

Are you on track with your finances? Check out 10 Steps to Financial Success to see if you’re on your way to a stable financial future.

Health Insurance

Having health insurance is a big part of Financial Wellness for students. You maay be eligible for subsidies that offset the cost of health insurance. If you still don’t have it, start the process with the Covered California website.

Financial Wellness Quiz

What is your financial attitude? It may help you understand how you feel about money and to work toward a better financial picture. Take this quiz to see where you stand (you can print the document or write down your answers on a piece of paper).


When you’re in college, it can feel like money is always tight. To help you take charge of your finances, the California Community Colleges system offers a free tool called CashCourse. This website can assist you in managing your money, and understanding the implications of taking out a loan to pay for college. If a loan is necessary to make your higher education dreams a reality, the tool can also guide you in developing a responsible plan for repayment.

CashCourse is an online financial education tool created by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), the financial literacy partner of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. CashCourse is completely free to students, educators, and colleges.

To visit the CashCourse website, click here.

If this is your first time visiting CashCourse, please remember to select your college from the pull-down menu when completing your registration, so when you log in next time, you can access information specific to your college.


Get answers to your questions. See what other students are asking, and get answers to your money questions by visiting CashCourse.

A budget is a spending plan that keeps you on track to reach your financial goals like saving for a car, covering living expenses, or transferring to a 4 year university and can help make your money last until the end of the month or semester. Use the CashCourse Budget Wizard to learn step-by-step how to make a budget, then track your income and expenses with the interactive tool.

How much do you know about saving and spending? The five-question quizzes from CashCourse will test your knowledge and give you insight on topics the you can explore on the CashCourse website. For a more in-depth tutorial on things like budgeting, credit, and paying for school, use the online course to learn skills that will help you throughout college.

To view the quizzes, please log into CashCourse and then visit the Financial Tools section.

CashCourse also offers a variety of informational videos, on topics such as “Budgeting Basics,” “How to be Credit Savvy” and “Investing in Your Future.” To view the videos, log into the CashCourse website, and then click on Financial Tools.

For more information on the complete cost of college, and ways to reduce your expenses, please visit the Pay for Education section of the CashCourse website.

Find a college near you that offers CashCourse!

If you attend (or are planning to attend) one of these colleges, you will be able to select them from the pull-down menu when registering on the CashCourse website. If your college is not listed, you can still register as a student user, but not select a specific college.

Note to Colleges: Do you need to activate your school profile? Please email CashCourse Help, at, to request your login and get set up!

Calculate Your College Costs

So how much financial aid will you really need? California residents currently pay $46 per unit for community college courses; take 12 units and you’re considered a full-time student. That means you would pay $46 x 12 units, or $552 per semester.


Students who are not California residents are charged out-of-state tuition in addition to the enrollment fee. Out-of-state tuition rates are set by each community college district but are generally between $140 and $400 per unit. You should contact the admissions office of the college you are interested in attending to get the specific out-of-state tuition rates.

Other college costs include books, supplies, transportation, food and housing. Some colleges also charge for class materials and add fees for things like health services, parking and student government. Although California’s community colleges are the least expensive all-around colleges in the nation, the costs can add up. Financial aid helps make sure that no one with the determination to succeed in higher education is left out because of money.

Find a financial aid workshop near you and get started in person!