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Campus Program Helps Students Gain Financial Knowledge
Program to educate students on how to establish a budget, save money and use credit cards.

May 5, 2006 :: No. 238

A campus program that educates students on the ins and outs of personal finance – from opening a bank account and using a credit card to financing large purchases – is now in its third year and branching out beyond Cal State Fullerton to students attending community colleges.

The Financial Literacy Program, spearheaded by Elahe Amani, director of technology services for student affairs, offers students a CD with such information as how to establish a budget, save money and use credit cards. The information also is available on the financial literacy website: http://financialliteracy.fullerton.edu.

"How to handle money has really not been addressed in the K-12 education system," said Amani. "Students need to know how to save, spend wisely and when to resist the temptation of easy credit."

As part of the three-year grant, more than 3,000 students were surveyed in 2004 to establish the general level of students' personal financial literacy. While 69 percent of survey respondents said that they saved regularly, 58 percent also noted they had not developed a budget, and 20 percent said they don't know how much debt they are carrying.

From those polled, 650 students expressed interest in participating in a program that would offer information and tips on personal finance, noted Amani. Informational seminars offered to participants provided feedback used to schedule future seminars and helped to expand the scope of the program, she added.

This year, plans for the Financial Literacy Program include extending the services to community colleges. "With the cooperation of community college administrators, information sessions will be scheduled in order to be proactive in the goal of impressing upon students the value of establishing positive skills in regards to the management of their personal finances," said Amani.

"We want to develop a relationship with students," she emphasized. "This is a new time and new experience for students. It's important that we provide them with the skills it takes to succeed – not only in the classroom, but financially too."

The program has been underwritten by EdFund, which has provided $40,000 annually for three years. For more information about the program, call
657-278-4892 or email FIN_Literacy@fullerton.edu.

 


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