Putting Some Fun into Financial Literacy

Did you know that Higher One has provided more than $250,000 in charitable support for programs aimed at increasing financial capability among today’s college students? Through its Financial Literacy Counts program, colleges and universities can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help them start or expand programs that help students learn to budget and manage their money more effectively while in school. The program encourages schools to involve students with developing fun and innovative ways to make money management top of mind. Here are a few great examples of some of these programs.


SUNY Oneonta – Making Cents Financial Literacy Program

Through its annual Making Cents of Life After College event, 335 students took part in a real-world simulation of the financial responsibilities of a recent graduate. The program was first offered last April and was attended by 80 students. The event was staffed by 64 on-campus volunteers and 7 external volunteers from a local credit union, a local bank, a local insurance office, and a local bankruptcy lawyer. Of the 99 students who responded to a post-event survey, 88% said they would attend next year and 96.97% agreed that the event was important to their future.

Upon arriving at the event, students received a “salary” based on their career path. They then proceeded through a series of stations simulating the budgeting of this salary to meet monthly expenses based on the cost of living in their proposed geographical locations. Tables were staffed with volunteers who were equipped with laptops to locate real time data on housing, loans, salaries, etc. Stations included housing, transportation, financing graduate school, student loan repayment, food, entertainment, insurance, revolving debt, savings, and emergency needs. Students were tasked with meeting all of their needs within the confines of their salary. Those who exceed their budget prior to successfully meeting their obligations, engaged in a review of their financial choices in order to make decisions regarding what to sacrifice to attain balance.

Check out this great video of the event.


Boise State – Buckless Broncos Campaign

The Know What You Owe Program created an opportunity for students to complete anonline survey about borrowing behavior and beliefs. Marketing for the survey was done using sidewalk chalk around campus and over social media posts. Flyers were also distributed on campus and interns were standing by with iPads for students to take the survey right then to receive some promotional items in return. Students who complete the survey during the month were entered to win two campus bookstore gift cards, chosen from a random drawing among all entries. Over 300 flyers were passed out over three days of in-person distribution and promoting of the Buckless Broncos Campaign. Check out these great pics:


Boise State - Buckless Broncos Campaign


Boise State - Buckless Broncos Campaign


Stanford University – Mind Over Money

Stanford University held its first week-long financial literacy workshop series. Freshman dorms competed for prizes by completing an online financial literacy program (CashCourse). Here’s some of the eye-catching and creative marketing they used:


Stanford University – Mind Over Money


Stanford University – Mind Over Money


Gateway Technical College – More Money, More Problems

Gateway Technical College was able to hire five additional Higher One Money Mentors to help support its financial literacy efforts. The events included participation in Gateway Days, SALT Know Your Money Day, a Pizza Party with the Non Traditional Occupations (NTO) and Step-Up program, a Movie and Dinner with Santa event, a SPA on-campus event. Higher One Mentors had the opportunity to do peer mentoring at events such as All Things Student Finance and FAFSA Days. These events are an opportunity for students to receive support from staff and fellow students in understanding their student finances. The student mentors attended the events and directed the students to sign up for SALT, a free educational program that helps students obtain a college degree in a financially responsible manner, including lessons on financial literacy, budgeting, and debt avoidance and repayment. Having the peer mentors allowed the college to provide better support to their initiatives and energized other students about saving money and being financially fit! Overall, 580 students enrolled in SALT and 99 students completed all the modules. Here are some pictures showcasing their efforts:


Gateway Technical College – More Money, More Problems


Gateway Technical College – More Money, More Problems

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