It’s no secret that college students are often portrayed as having little money — the Ramen eating, penny pinching, “poor college student” stereotype has developed from a lot of truth. However, as students, we don’t really get the chance to learn about money or how to handle it, which can be a huge problem when we graduate. The average amount of debt gathered here at Penn State totaled over $31,000 dollars in the year of 2011. Since most of us are graduating with a perpetual piano of debt hanging precariously over our heads, it stands to reason that we should figure out what to do about it.
Here’s where a new financial literacy workshop comes in. MoneyCounts: A Financial Literacy Series is aimed specifically at undergraduate students here at Penn State, to help them figure out how to budget their money in their post-college life. Dr. Daad Rizk, a GSU transplant, has come to Penn State as the new financial preparation coordinator, to help students get the tools they need to create a better financial situation for themselves. Dr. Rizk explained that the overall goal of the program is to “help our students acquire financial literacy as a life skill to help them graduate, manage their debt successfully, and plan for a better financial future.”
General Topics include: earning, saving, borrowing, spending, and protecting one’s asset and identity. Dr. Rizk also revealed that Specific Student financial literacy topics include financing education, student loans, repayment strategies and planning for the future.
The workshops are held in the Library computer lab, and include hands on activities and worksheets for each topic specific session. So far the response has been overwhelming, “The workshop is using the computer lab at the Library that has 32 seats, we advertised the workshop early afternoon last week and within few hours the class filled up plus 36 waiting seats (total 68 registration). We got double what the class room can handle, [and]that told me that we will need to do another session of the same workshop.”
Although the first workshop is full, there are others being held throughout the month in accordance with National Financial Literacy Month (and tax season). You can register here with your Penn State ID. All sessions are free but seating is limited.