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Financial Literacy Rewind: Read What Other Campuses Are Doing

April 24, 2013

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 78 percent of adults “agree they could benefit from additional advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.” Americans want more of a financial education in order to become more stable and successful, and last week, professionals across the nation made a special effort to make this sort of instruction widely available.

During Money Smart Week (April 20-April 27), hundreds of businesses, schools, financial institutions, and other organizations drew attention to the importance of managing personal finances. These organizations hosted free educational seminars and activities in hopes that Americans would take the opportunity to become more financially savvy.

What is financial literacy?

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) defines financial literacy as:  “the ability to make informed judgments and to take effective actions regarding the current and future use and management of money. It includes the ability to understand financial choices, plan for the future, spend wisely, and manage the challenges associated with life events such as a job loss, saving for retirement, or paying for a child’s education.”

As we continue our journey through Financial Literacy Month, we thought it would be a good idea to review some of the college/university financial literacy websites that Nelnet has highlighted during the past two years. These institutions started out from scratch, asking the same questions that you may be asking.

Click on the school’s name to read the entire interview.

Creighton University, NE (October 4, 2011)

“We listened to the feedback we received and have tried to keep it simple, yet comprehensive and informative.  The website was developed with the goal of providing information for students to access on their own timeframe.”

Texas Tech University (February 23, 2011)

“We educate the Texas Tech community on how to develop responsible financial behaviors that hopefully will last them a lifetime. Our Red to Black volunteers not only receive expanded financial literacy training, but also have an opportunity to sharpen their presentation skills and to apply their knowledge of financial literacy with others.”

Plymouth State University, NH (April 13, 2011)

“We’ve devoted space in our office for students to sit and read resource materials to increase their personal financial literacy.   We also have books and periodicals that we lend and computers students can use to access web-based resources.”

University of Texas at Austin (March 13, 2012)

“Bevonomics was created to address the growing concern of increased borrowing trends in higher education.  We also believe it is important to educate college students on personal money matters in order to minimize any potential future financial mishaps.  Through our curriculum, we provide information and resources that empower students to make financially responsible decisions that promote financial wellness.”

University of Nebraska Lincoln (March 6, 2012)

“Our goal is to help students develop ways to better manage their finances and empower them to make good financial decisions. Ultimately, we want students to have confidence in their abilities to successfully manage their financial lives.”

Missouri State University (June 24, 2011)

“Feedback from students has been very positive.  Most of our face-to-face contact is through our classroom and organization presentations.  These presentations are very interactive, and we give pre- and post-tests to determine student learning and to evaluate the effectiveness of our presentations.”

Wichita State University (July 5, 2012)

“Our program has three core components: live outreach events for students and families that help them understand how to plan for the financial aspects of college, an annual conference for educators on teaching financial literacy to promote college completion, and the online resource MyCollegeMoneyPlan.org.”

Kansas State University (November 7, 2012)

“The program is a peer-to-peer program where students studying a finance-related major offer assistance to fellow students on budgeting, saving, credit, student loan repayment and transitioning to work. Our mission is to increase the financial capability of all K-State students while providing a top-notch pre-professional experience for students interested in financial services.” NOTE: KSU’s Powercat Financial Counseling program was recently noted as a model financial education program in the White House’s Financial Capability Higher Education Toolkit.

Alvernia University (February 23, 2012)

“One highlight of our program is the requirement for all first year students to attend our Financial Literacy Basics session. This allows us to establish a rapport with the students in their first semester and make our services available from the beginning.”

Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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