Making Cents

Financial Literacy at SUNY Oneonta

SUNY Oneonta’s Making Cents Financial Literacy and Wellness program is designed to help students develop a strong understanding of personal financial management concepts to empower students to make informed financial decisions and manage financial resources for a lifetime of financial well-being.

Through a variety of engaging programming, services and events, students are able to enhance their knowledge and confidence in many areas of personal finance. Programs and services include:

  • Personal Financial Coaching
  • Online Financial Wellness Learning Modules
  • Monthly presentations and workshops
  • Student Loan Repayment Analysis
  • SUNY Smart Track Tools
  • Virtual Resource Library

. Making Cents Facebook Page.....................Have you attended one of our events? Send us your feedback ...

Upcoming Events

Making Cents of Life After College Event.  Thursday Nov 16, 2017.  Hunt Union Ballroom.  Check in 4-6. 
To Register call 436-3021

Use this link to pre-register


or go to Campus Connection and RSVP
Register on Campus Connection today; space is limited
L.E.A.D credit offered for most events!


For more information about the financial literacy project at SUNY Oneonta contact:

Kevin Sutton
Financial Literacy Analyst
129 Netzer Administration Building
(Near Financial Aid)

Our Programs


SUNY Oneonta’s Making Cents Financial Literacy and Wellness Program offers engaging programming, services and events to help students enhance their knowledge and confidence in many areas of personal finance such as budgeting, money management, credit scores, loan borrowing and repayment.

Key aspects of the program include:

  • Transit – Financial Wellness™ is designed to empower students with the skills to successfully manage their finances while in school and beyond by equipping learners with the knowledge and skills necessary for making responsible financial decisions. Click here for more information about how to register for this new online training module.  

  • Personal Financial Coaching is a student-centered approach that supports and encourages students to establish a basic level of financial literacy and develop positive financial behaviors. Initiated by the student, the student requests a coach and self-identifies areas to focus on. The coach is there to listen, encourage, motivate and direct students to resources, tools and/or program and services.  Coaching Sessions are one-on-one and confidential. Click here to request a meeting with a financial coach.

  • Making Cents “Menu” of programs. Held throughout the year or upon request. Popular game nights include a Jeopardy, Trivia, Guess That Salary and Making Cents Mad Libs. Other workshops on taxes, credit reports, banking, managing debt and more are held throughout the academic year.  Click here to view and download the “Menu” of programs available.

  • “Making Cent$ on the Move” is a must try. Students can hail a ride to class or another on-campus destination and answer trivia questions that test their financial knowledge.

  • Informed Loan Borrowing - The Making Cent$ program keeps students informed of their loan borrowing and the associated repayment costs after college by sending out an annual letter that summarizes the student’s accumulated borrowing as a SUNY Oneonta student and the associated estimated monthly repayment amount based on average interest rates.  We believe that this annual communication will enable students to make smart borrowing decisions and minimize their overall debt level upon graduation.

In addition to the “Menu” of programs, Making Cents holds two signature events during the year that qualify for LEAD credit and are popular with students.

  • The Making Cents of Life After College event is held in the fall and is intended to give students a realistic perspective of post-graduation finances based on their chosen career path and anticipated geographic location.

  • The Making Cents of My Future: Senior Edition event is held in the spring and is comprised of a variety of mini-workshops focused on starting a career, investing for the future, building credit, and student loan repayment options.

  • Making Cents of Your 1st Year at SUNY Oneonta. This interactive event will provide a variety of information to first-year students so that they can manage their personal finances successfully during their first year at the college.

Video Highlights from a Previous Making Cent$ Event

Making Cents of Life After College is an interactive event offering a glimpse at what life could be like financially after graduating college. The event features a series of scenarios where students are given a finite amount of money based on a chosen career path and then are expected to budget based on that income. An overwhelming 97% of students who participated in the November 2015 session replied "Yes" to the question "Did the event help you to think about the importance of your financial future?"

Pictures from a previous event.

Facebook Facebook Event Page

What students have said ....

In response to the question “What was the most valuable part of the event for you?”:

  • The most valuable part of the event for me was the savings event. It showed me that it's important to save money monthly and to just set it up that 10% of my salary goes to my savings automatically. Another thing is to set up my retirement plan early on even if 65 seems far away.

  • Learning how to budget and measuring the importance of everything you spend your money on.

  • Just looking into the cost of everything my freshman year is helpful.

  • Learning about the average monthly payment for my loans.

  • The most valuable part of the event was seeing the end results based on the career path I chose and my way of living.  It was interesting to get a realistic idea of how life will be after I graduate from SUNY Oneonta.


Making Cents of ... Your Student Loans


What You Need to Know!

What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?

A subsidized loan does not accrue interest that you are responsible for while in school. The government pays that interest for you. An unsubsidized loan will accrue interest while you are in school that you will have to pay for. If you are offered both a subsidized as well as an unsubsidized loan and are looking to reduce the amount you are borrowing, ALWAYS reduce your unsubsidized loan first.

Student Accounts Debt and Refund Letters:

In August of 2015 The Office of Student Accounts sent out Refund Letters to every student expecting a “refund” that resulted from a loan.  Of the 1,967 students contacted, over 9% reduced their loans eliminating over $292,000 of student debt!  Read the letter here.” 

If you have taken student loans you can expect a Debt Letter at the end of each semester.  See a sample here.

Complete Your Financial Aid Exit Interview:

Complete your financial aid exit interview your last semester BEFORE you graduate! Click here ( to go to the webpage to complete your exit counseling. You will need:

    • Your FSA ID username OR your email address
    • FSA ID password (used when filing your FAFSA).

Directions: Log in, then click the first link in the list that comes up (Complete Counseling). Follow the prompts and you will be finished in around 30 to 45 minutes. After 48 hours have passed, call your financial aid counselor and they can verify that it has been successfully completed. If you do not know who your counselor is, you can find it in your blackboard account, or you can call (607) 436-2532 and a representative can give you their contact information.

How do I find my loan servicer?

Sign into with your FSA ID. It will come up with a list of your loans. Click on a loan and it will give you all of the terms of that loan. Then, scroll down and you will see your servicer’s info at the bottom of the page.

"Get on Your Feet" Student Loan Forgiveness Program:

Governor Cuomo announced in January 2016 that the "Get on Your Feet" student loan forgiveness program is now accepting applications:

To qualify, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from a college or university located in New York State in or after December 2014, have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000, and be enrolled in the federal Income Based Repayment plan or Pay as You Earn plan. Recipients will have a maximum of 24 payments, equal to their monthly student loan repayment amount, paid on their behalf. Applications are accepted year round.

Check out this NPR story about lowering your student loan payments.

NPR logo

click here

Start Today . . . be one step closer to financial success!


Transit – Financial Wellness™ is designed to empower students with the skills to successfully manage their finances while in school and beyond, and minimize dropout and student loan defaults through education. Transit equips learners with the knowledge and skills necessary for making responsible financial decisions.



You will need internet access, audio capabilities, and a web browser, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Google Chrome.
The course takes 1-2 hours to complete.

You will receive Part 2, 30 days after completing Part 1. Part 2 only takes about 15 minutes to complete!

To start the TRANSIT course please follow these instructions:

  • Go to:  and click Register

  • Under “Student/Learner”, enter the Registration Code: bb5b609a to create your EverFi Account

  • When prompted, please enter your 9-digit SUNY Oneonta Student ID# that begins with “A0” to receive credit for completion. (To find your SUNY ID#, log in to myOneonta, select “webservices” near the top left of the page, select “personal information”, select “view Oneonta ID#”

  • Should you experience problems, technical support is available 24/7 and can be accessed from the Help link within the course.

Helpful tip... add the Everfi webpage to "favorites" to make logging in easier as you go through the course!

Making Cents of ... Your Finances


Budgeting and planning for the future can be a challenge. Use the calculators found in the excel files below to plan out your finances and make smart decisions!

Excel Loan Interest Calculator and Refund Interest Calculator

making cents

5 Easy Ways to Make Smart Financial Choices at SUNY Oneonta!

To Start Saving $1000 Click Here!

Making Cents of .... Your Loan Repayments

On behalf of SUNY Oneonta’s Making Cent$ financial wellness program on campus, we want to provide some information to you as you prepare to begin repayment of your Federal Loans.

If you have borrowed a Federal Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, your “Grace Period” may be ending soon. This grace period is the time your loan servicer gives you after graduating before you have to start making loan repayments. Your loan servicer will be contacting you as you approach the start of your repayment and it is very important to read these messages. Here is some helpful information that we wanted to share with you.

  • Step 1: Go to and log in with the FSA ID/Username. (You used this when filing your FAFSA. It may also be your email address)

  • Step 2: Click the link towards the top of the options that says “Financial Aid Review.”

  • Step3: There will be a number on the left of each loan will provide additional information. Click this number to reveal more information for that loan.

  • Step 4: At the bottom of the box, there will be a website and contact information for your loan servicer. Your loan servicer is whom you will be making your payments to. Go to their website and set up an account. It is recommended to use an email address that you will have access to for the next few years and it is a good idea to “Favorite” the website of your servicer to your web browser.

Once you log in, you will be able to view how much interest has accrued, minimum monthly payment, and other info on your loans. This is where you can opt to make a payment in any amount.

If you have taken a private loan from a bank or other institution, please contact them directly on making repayments.

If you have a Perkins loan, please visit: for more detail on your repayment.

Note: If you have a combination of Federal, Perkins, or Private loans you will be making separate payments to all sources.



  • Many servicers offer “direct debit” payments that you link with a checking account to pay the minimum amount due on the due date each month. This is a good way to make sure you never miss a payment. Note: your first few payments may still need to manually be done while they verify your banking information.
  • You can also schedule “One-Time” payments for a specific date or even a payment on the same day in addition to the direct debit option.
  • Paying above the minimum is also a good idea! You can set your direct debit up to cover more than the minimum payment, which is a great way to consistently pay more than the minimum and the quickest way to pay the least amount in interest on your loans!
  • You may also apply all extra payments above the minimum to ALL go towards ONE loan of your choosing (typically recommended to choose the one with the lowest monthly payment) to make faster progress in reducing your debt as you move through your repayment plan.
  • Most importantly, if you have questions about your repayment plan or cannot make a payment, it is best to contact your loan servicer as soon as you can. Their phone number will be on the website you favorited as well as the website.