Educator Toolbox

TXGU Activity: Paying for College


Created By:
 Texas GEAR UP

Grade Level: 7th/8th

Introduction for Educators: As we all know, the cost of college is overwhelming. Without proper planning, your students might just avoid college, thinking they simply can’t afford it. On the flipside, they could also end up with a crushing amount of college debt.

When it comes to understanding money, nothing is as basic and essential as a budget. By teaching your students the elements of a budget, you’re giving them tools that will not only help them succeed in paying for college, but in life.

Introduction for Students: Imagine this: You and your family win a free cruise to the Caribbean. You’re floating near an uninhabited island. A sudden hurricane sweeps through. You and the other survivors swim to shore, where you find a few items from the boat, including canned food. You need to make sure the food lasts until help arrives.

There’s a name for this process of tracking your resources: a budget. Keeping a budget is what will help you survive on the island. It's also how you’ll pay for college.

The Activity: The idea of finding a way to pay for college sounds overwhelming. So let's break it down by learning about the basic elements of a budget.

Work with your parents, teachers, and friends to learn the terms below. Once you have a good understanding of what a word means, write a one-sentence definition in your own words. 

  • Fixed expenses
  • Variable expenses
  • Income
  • Savings
  • Taxes

You can do an Internet search or use one of the following websites to help you: