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Manage your money for college wisely with BYU’s innovative funding tool

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SALT LAKE CITY — Getting loans to pay for college can be complicated and confusing, but BYU’s financial fitness manager is out to help the process not be so confusing, and to save students as much money as possible.

Paul Conrad developed the College Funding Tool, a calculator that considers a student’s expenses — from gas to living to school — and helps the student see what size loan they should draw out without going overboard. Conrad said students sometimes draw out too big of a loan, resulting in larger payments after graduation that they could have avoided with a little more information from the start.

“We’re basically trying to help students really understand what their expenses are, and look at what their resources are. Do you even need to borrow money, and if you do, how much can you really afford to borrow? Make sure that any amount you’re borrowing will be manageable when you pay those back,” Conrad said.

Conrad’s job in the Financial Fitness Center at BYU is to help students make good financial decisions and be wise with their money. He said BYU students generally do a great job at it, but the tool is an extra help.

Working at the Financial Fitness Center is what prompted Conrad to develop the tool, which began with him and his colleagues filling out various worksheets and escalated into the online tool with everything in one place.

Entrepreneur and BYU student Levi Wilson, who works for the startup company that hosts the College Funding Tool, said the tool gives students confidence. “It helps students who are debt adverse or are scared about taking on debt, even though they can afford it and it might be the best decision for their circumstance. … It helps

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