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Texas State University

Bobcat Gold: The Place to Find Financial Tools, External Scholarships

bobcat gold website

Bobcat Gold: The Place to Find Financial Tools, External Scholarships

In 2018, Financial Aid and Scholarships introduced Bobcat Gold, where students can find the financial tools to help with college and beyond. For scholarships, there is iGrad, a searchable site listing about 5,000 external scholarships. There are also various calculators to track such things as credit card debt, student loans, savings, and investments.

“The financial coaching is probably the single most effective way for students and families to help understand and get ready for college. There’s no better way of doing it,” says Dr. Byron Kerr, assistant director, Financial Aid and Scholarships. “They speak with a certified financial professional. That person is the financial coach who now knows you and what your goals are.” He explains that the coach will meet with the student and his or her family to start building on what needs to be done, based on that initial conversation. “I cannot stress it enough. It is seriously the best product that a student could possibly tie themselves to — and it doesn’t cost them a penny.”

Kerr says that iGrad is just one piece of a larger financial literacy initiative that Texas State is undertaking. The university is working with Trellis, a nonprofit corporation promoting access and success in higher education. The Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions Career and Financial Education (CAFÉ) program in University College offers a number of financial education events throughout the year for juniors and seniors, as well as one-on-one financial coaching. Through iGrad, students can search and apply for  external scholarships.

The student loan estimator, which will allow students to track federal and state loans, is now online and available to students.

“The trick about scholarships is that it is all about the hustle. It is about getting in there and getting creative,” Kerr says. He frequently uses “outdoors” as an example. Plug in “aquatics” or “fishing” and see what pops up. “One of my students got a Dow scholarship when ‘polymers’ popped up on her list,” Kerr says.

“Bobcat Gold has in it the tools, the calculators, the things you need for self-learning. You also have access to free financial coaches that are professional who will be able to help you make the right choices, as you take these tools and move forward with them.”