Financial Services

Financial Literacy Center

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Quick Questions

The Financial Literacy Center is located on the first floor of Hyer Hall, Room 112. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm and Friday from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm. Drop-ins are welcome!


With a credit card comes financial responsibility and independence. Overspending, high interest rates, and not being able to pay off your balance each month pose risks to college students, which can affect them into adulthood. However, the benefits of a credit card, include establishing credit history and demonstrating responsible use of credit, can both play a role in elevating a credit score for future loans when ready to purchase a car or home. There is not a definitive answer to this question, but each individual needs to make their own decision based on an assessment of their personal financial situation.


When used correctly and responsibly, credit cards can help you build credit prior to graduation. Many major credit card users offer cards designed for students with little to no credit history. Conduct your research, check online articles, and do your homework while taking special notice of annual fees, rewards offered, and annual percentage rates (APRs). Narrow your selection and apply to only one card, for each and every time you apply for a credit card, it is documented on your credit report and can negatively affect your credit score.


Students are regularly inundated with credit card offer invitations via mail or at events. Avoid applying for a credit card at a common table with other individuals, simply to protect identity and personal information. If applying for a credit card online, use the company's secure website from a private, password-protected Internet connection (not public WiFi). Another option is to apply in person with a local financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, which can ensure privacy. Be sure to shred or destroy mailed pre-approved credit solicitations that contain your name and/or address.


The UW-Whitewater Financial Aid Office outlines the financial aid process in great detail. The process starts with the FAFSA application and ends with receiving the aid; however, there are many steps and potential 'hiccups' along the way. Utilize the resources and information on their site, and if there are specific questions, contact their office at (262) 472-1130.


For federal student loans, you should access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to obtain this information. You will need your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to log in and view your loan amounts. This ID was created when you first applied for financial aid. The NSLDS gives a total picture of your federal student loan balance. 

Private student loans are not reflected on NSLDS. To find out your private student loan balances, you will need to seek out this information from your private lenders.


An estimate of your federal student loan repayment amount per month can be calculated using the federal student loan Repayment Estimator. The exact monthly repayment amount will not be known until you have set up a repayment plan with your lenders.

Private loan repayment amounts can be accessed by reaching out to your private loan lenders.


There really isn't a correct answer to this question since each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, and varies depending on individual needs, preferences, and financial situation. On-campus life can be vibrant with social opportunities, close facilities (gym, dining hall), and various amenities (laundry, custodians, internet). Dorm drawbacks include a lack of quiet time, small space, communal bathrooms, and privacy. Living off-campus offers more space and privacy, and the ability to make your own household rules; however, it might include increased isolation, a longer commute, cooking, cleaning, and additional costs to live (internet, cleaning supplies, utilities, summer rent). Be sure to consider all aspects before making a decision. 


The Cost of Attending calculator can be used by students to obtain an estimate of what it will cost to attend UW-Whitewater based on individual student circumstances.


There are low-cost or free events and resources for students while at UW-Whitewater. 

  • Campus Events Calendar. Search the calendar for opportunities to entertain yourself without breaking your budget.
  • Campus Food Pantry. Located in White Hall, the pantry can be utilized by students in need of food or toiletries.
  • Clubs and Organizations. Become involved in student organizations while on campus. UW-Whitewater has approximately 200 student organizations, and you are sure to find or start an organization of interest.
  • Financial Literacy Center. A free resource located on the first floor of Hyer Hall, to provide financial education and information to students through individual coaching sessions, online resources, and financial wellness presentations.
  • University Center. At the heart of campus, the UC provides opportunities for students to enhance their college experience and stay connected to campus.  
  • Warhawk Emergency Fund. An emergency aid fund to provide assistance to students at risk of dropping out of college due to unexpected financial emergencies.

The Whitewater area offers a variety of resources to their community members.

  • Food Pantries and Meals. Community resources available to those in need of food.
    • Free Community Dinner. Available on Mondays from 5:00 - 6:30 pm. 146 S. Church Street, Whitewater, (262) 473-8980
    • Free Student Lunch. Available on Tuesdays from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm during the fall and spring semesters. 145 S. Prairie Street, Whitewater, (262) 473-2131
    • Little Free Pantry. Drop off donated food or pick up what you need. Two locations:  1143 W. Walworth Avenue & 431 W. Center Street, Whitewater
    • Whitewater Community Food Pantry. Available to citizens in need who live within the Whitewater School District. 146 E. North Street, 2nd Floor, Whitewater, (262) 473-5792 
    • Walworth County Food Pantry. Available to residents of Walworth County. 205 E. Commerce Court, Elkhorn, (262) 723-4488
  • Irvin L Young Memorial Library. The library hosts free events, and provides patrons the ability to borrow books (digital and paper), DVD's, video games, magazines, and much more. 431 W. Center Street, Whitewater, (262) 473-0530
  • Resale and Consignment Shops. Whitewater, and the surrounding area, have many thrift stores to purchase gently-used items.