GC Students Participate in National Financial Literacy Month

Do you know what the difference between a subsidized and an un-subsidized loan are?  What about the definition of a forbearance? Could you say what the maximum annual loan amount for a dependent undergraduate student is? These are just some of the questions the Garrett College Student Financial Aid office hoped that Financial Literacy Month will reinforce with the students at Garrett College. 

In 2003, The U.S. Senate designated April as National Financial Literacy Month. In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, Garrett College Office of Student Financial Aid held a Financial Literacy Fair on Wednesday, April 26 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Financial Aid office attempts to host this event at least once a year and invites local financial institutions to come and participate in providing the students with beneficial financial information. In an attempt to draw more students into the event this year and raise financial common sense, the office hosted a Cash Vault. Students could enter the vault for 15 seconds and grab as much cash as possible. Once they exited the students would have to count the funds and then complete a budget worksheet on how the student would spend the money they won.  Students also were encouraged to complete a four question survey which answers were provided by the local banks in attendance (First United Bank & Trust, State Employees Credit Union, and WEPCO Federal Credit Union). Assistant Director of Financial Aid Pamela Warnick stated, “our mission is to assist students in navigating the financial landscape of higher education and beyond and helping all students achieve financial wellness.”

One of the nation’s leading advocacy groups for college financial literacy is the National Summit on Collegiate Financial Wellness (now the Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit). Garrett College has sent several individuals to the summit. “Over the past few years, the Summit community has seen the true impact of financial wellness programs across the country in assisting students with many challenges, both present and future.  There have been programs assisting students in accessing community agencies to help with financial difficulties, programs that have greatly reduced student debt, and programs that have helped students navigate their finances in such that they have been able to persist through school, graduate, and improve their quality of life, just to name a few,” states Phil Schuman, co-founder of the National Summit on Collegiate Financial Wellness and Director of Financial Literacy for Indiana University. “Clearly, we feel strongly that financial literacy is a very active, and necessary, component of financial wellness programming on campus.” 

In addition to these activities, the financial aid office presents cash management and credit information to every First Year Experience class in the Fall and in the Spring.  These presentations emphasize the differences in spending on “needs” vs. “wants”, the important of a credit score and the dangers of credit cards.  The office also posted a contest to the students via email in which the student could look up answers and enter to win a gift card.

From left to right are: Deborah Carlomany (State Employees Credit Union), Sue Fazenbaker (WEPCO Federal Credit Union), Serena Rodeheaver (First United Bank & Trust), Angela Lowery, Alexis Brackett, Michael Chewning, Mikayla Randolph-Ottey, Daquan Rious, Jermonie Bryant, Marcus Humphrey, Jack Corbin, Ashton Chapman.
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