Advice for Students

The EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, is the number used to calculate the type and amount of financial aid that you are eligible to receive. This doesn’t necessarily matter for scholarship competitions or private awards that are generally granted based on merit rather than economic need.

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The Latino community in the United States has enthusiastically received the deferred action program, or more formally titled, the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process that’s been authorized and put into place by the Obama administration.

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September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, which makes it an ideal time to set aside a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to think carefully about your current financial health. Being in good financial health means different things to different people. But almost everyone can agree that it must be based on two important components: First, your lifestyle needs to match your income, and second, you need to have all of the building blocks of a good financial plan in place. These building blocks include saving money on a regular basis, managing debt responsibly, making prudent investments and protecting your family by having the right kinds of insurance, especially life insurance.

As an essential building block of a good financial plan, life insurance is the best way to prepare and protect your family if you were to die prematurely. Some Hispanic families think that having a savings account and living within your means is enough to deal with the shock of an unexpected death. But the cost of a typical funeral can easily run between $6,000 and $10,000. That range also happens to be the median net worth of a Hispanic family. Sadly, this means that a typical Hispanic family would have to spend all of their money just to pay for a funeral.

What happens after the funeral? The average Hispanic family would face severe financial hardship, maybe even have to start again at zero. Just when your family would be dealing with the emotional and psychological scars from your death, they would also need to deal with financial fallout. This unnecessary grief is easily avoidable with the purchase of a good life insurance policy.

When preparing a financial plan for your family, your first priority should be to deal with the worst case scenario – which means the death of one or both parents in the family. Like most people, Hispanics don’t feel comfortable talking about death, especially if it’s their own! But sometimes life just happens – people die unexpectedly every day and avoiding the topic won’t prolong your life. Yes, it’s difficult to think about it and even more so to talk about it, but addressing it and acting upon it is the only way to ensure that your family is protected.

A recent study from the LIFE Foundation and LIMRA indicates that many Hispanics perceive life insurance premiums as expensive; and, given other financial priorities, they choose to spend the money on something else and forgo the purchase of a policy. Other Hispanics have very small policies that pay a modest amount of money upon death, leaving their families with little protection – a situation that can be easily avoided. There are many different types of life insurance policies and most Hispanics could offer sufficient protection to their families for less than they spend on their mobile telephone bill.

During Life Insurance Awareness Month take some time out of your schedule to think about your financial health and make the effort to fix the problems that are within your control. Purchasing a good life insurance policy that will take care of your family’s needs should be the first priority. If you aren’t protecting your family, why wait? Start today by reaching out to an insurance agent or researching life insurance on the Internet at or

Like anything that’s worth striving for in life, acquiring college scholarships takes some effort. These days we tend to see college scholarships announcing “free money waiting for you” or that “millions of scholarship dollars go unused every year,” or statements along those lines.

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