What do budgeting, college payment options, credit ratings, home buying, and salary negotiations have in common? They are all topics to be explored by experts throughout the month of April as part of National Financial Literacy Month at Washington State University.
“Across the university, several programs are interested in helping students and others to understand and promote their financial well-being, and taking part in National Financial Literacy Month is a great way to combine forces to deliver powerful and helpful messaging,” said Kelly Demand, director of College Affordability Programs in the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE). OAE is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.
“Our goal is to create awareness and understanding. Presenters from the OAE, Carson College of Business at WSU Vancouver, and Student Financial Services from within WSU, along with external guest speakers from BECU and Sallie Mae, will provide information and insights on just about every day in April. There will also be hosted events for student participants.”
A month-long day-by-day guide to events, topics, and presenters is online.
Four themed weeks
Demand said that the month’s financial literacy events and presentations are broken down into thematic weeks. The first full week staring April 5 will focus on personal skills, with advice for such things as being a first-time renter, budgeting tailored to graduate students, managing a salary, and navigating credit card debt.
The second week beginning April 12 centers around the topic of resources, kicking off with a financial wellness fair from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the AirMeet online platform. Subjects throughout the week range from understanding IGrad (the award-winning financial education platform in OAE) to financial counseling, and from affordable study-away options to a variety of college affordability programs.
Week three starting April 19 focuses on moving from theory to practice. Investments will be discussed, and participants can also play a financial trivia game.
April 26 kicks off the fourth week of programming focused on student perspectives. Participants will, for example, learn to apply financial literacy skills to grocery shopping in Pullman and how signing up for rewards and using apps can save grocery and online shoppers money.
“The final event on April 30 will be a roundtable discussion for students only, led by student staff from OAE’s College Affordability Programs. Every participant will be able to safely and openly share experiences, ask questions, and discuss finances in a peer-to-peer and comfortable setting,” said Demand.
A national and international initiative
In the U.S., National Financial Literacy Month was designated by Congress in 2004 to be every April. The move was an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach citizens how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Financial literacy is generally described as having the personal skillset and knowledge to make informed and effective decisions involving the management of financial resources.
Several nations around the world have their own initiatives to promote financial wellbeing for their citizens.
Detailed information on WSU’s April events for National Financial Literacy Month are online. Some require pre-registration to attend.