As of April 2019, the Your Bottom Line newsletter and its archives are now housed at ocap.org. Please visit the OCAP newsletter page to see our latest edition.

Newsletter Highlights


:: Expenses That Should be in Every College Student’s Budget ::

While tuition, housing and books are usually what come to mind when we think of paying for college, there are always other expenses to be considered. Some may seem obvious, while others may not even occur to you until they come up. Below are some key categories that should be included in every student’s budget.

To learn more about budgeting in college, visit Oklahoma Money Matters’ webpage on Setting up a Budget for college students.



:: What's Your Favorite Fair Food? ::

We asked our staff and they answered:

  1. Funnel Cake
  2. Cinnamon Roll
  3. Corn Dog
  4. Turkey Leg
  5. Cotton Candy
  6. Other (Indian Taco, Caramel Apple, Fried Oreos)



:: College Application Week 2019 ::

Applying to college can be challenging, especially for students who are the first in their families to pursue higher education. Having someone to encourage them and help them navigate the college application process can open the door to great opportunities they didn’t know existed. By implementing a College Application Week (CAW) program, high schools, libraries and community centers can ensure that seniors have the opportunity to receive hands-on assistance as they take a big step toward continuing their education following high school.

College App Week is part of a national initiative sponsored by the Kresge Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the American Council on Education. On the state level, the project is endorsed by the State Secretary of Education’s office, public higher education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Chamber. Last year, over 4,000 high school seniors at participating schools and community venues submitted at least one application during College App Week. Those applications went to 134 colleges in 34 states.

So far, College App Week 2019 has the potential to give more than 9,000 high school seniors the opportunity to complete a college application during school hours. CAW 2019 is scheduled statewide for the week of September 23-27, but a school or organization can choose to hold their CAW any week during the months of September through November, 2019.

To register your organization for CAW 2019 or to learn more, visit OKCollegeAppWeek.org.



:: Budgeting Applications ::

Budgeting can be pretty simple at its core– write down all the money that comes in and subtract all the money that goes out. From there, there are numerous methods you can follow. Some people like the envelope system, for example—where you preportion all of the cash you plan on spending in the coming month by putting the money into labeled envelopes for different categories of spending and, when the money in the envelope is gone, no more money can be spent on that category.

Then there are more high-tech options like budgeting apps. An app solves a lot of the problems presented by paper or envelope budget systems; you don’t need to keep track of a physical sheet that could fall victim to a coffee spill, changes don’t require white-out and you can access it from anywhere. When budgeting is easier to do, more convenient, and less stressful, you’re much more likely to stick with it.

Mint is the most well-reviewed budgeting app out there, and for good reason. You can link your bank as well as the companies you pay bills to, putting all your information is in one place. If you have a bill coming due or your bank account is getting low, you’ll be notified. You can also craft a categorized budget that’s like an electronic envelope system that will tell you when you’re overspending. Besides Mint, there are plenty of other apps out there you can consider, including Albert, PocketGuard, and Prism, which are also well-liked. Try out a couple, see how you enjoy the layout and notifications, gauge the ease of use and then pick the one that you will actually use!



:: On Our Mind: Seasonal Affective Disorder ::

What’s on the mind of OCAP staff? This month, OKMM outreach specialist Rae Scott-Pettit talks about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

My mother used to bring us along with her to support groups when we were children, and she continues to tirelessly educate her community on health and reveal her own struggles to fight mental health stigma. I want to continue to promote open conversation about mental health and talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is more than the “winter blues.” It’s a serious, diagnosed and treatable mental disorder. SAD is sometimes called seasonal depression or winter depression, but its formal name is Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. SAD has the same symptoms as Major Depression Disorder but is marked by a depression during fall to winter months.

If you feel you could be experiencing depression or SAD, seek the help of a trained medical professional. The National Institute of Mental Health addresses four major treatments for SAD: medication, light therapy, psychotherapy, and vitamin D treatments. The sooner you seek treatment, the more successful and affordable it is likely to be. There are also affordable lifestyle changes you can make that could help reduce symptoms and support professional treatment. I’m incorporating the following ideas this fall and winter to help reduce the chance of SAD.



:: Benefits of Professional & Civic Organizations ::

Joining professional or civic organizations has many benefits for students as well as those who are entering or have already entered the workforce. Existing members often welcome the chance to mentor incoming workers as they transition to the corporate world. Professional organizations consist of groups of people from similar professions who gather together to network and create standards in the profession. This gives new members the opportunity to build relationships and skills that can help bolster their resume and develop their own reputations as experts. Below are just a few of the many benefits of becoming involved in these organizations.