Apparently, college students aren’t so great with money.
In a 2015 survey of 42,000 American college students, education technology company EverFi and financial aid disbursement company Higher One found that teens are increasingly less likely to make smart decisions regarding their personal finances, such as:
- paying credit card bills on time
- following a budget
- reviewing their bills … at all
When asked six basic questions about topics such as setting aside emergency savings and paying off student loans, freshmen at four-year colleges could only answer about two, on average.
At the University of Mississippi, however, some students are getting a leg up.
The university (“Ole Miss”) has partnered with Regions Bank to create and offer a six-week personal finance course to help students learn how to be successful with their money in the future.
We first saw this news via the Clarion Ledger, which writes that about 35 students will take the course this spring, and another 125 will enroll this summer.
Wondering what exactly they will study? Here’s the full curriculum, published with Region Bank’s permission (select bolding for emphasis is ours):
Collegiate Financial Education Curriculum
Week 1 — Banking Basics for Students
During the first week, we will begin to introduce the essentials of money management. We will cover information that students may not have received before college. This ranges from the basics of how checking and savings accounts work — to how students can make financial decisions that will benefit them in both the short-term and long-term.
So many times, we see how once a student simply discovers the fundamentals of money management, they are empowered to make wise choices that can really help them take control of their financial futures.
Week 2 — EverFi Module
Regions began working with education technology company EverFi in 2010 with the launch of the Regions Bank Financial Scholars Program in high schools. Since then, our partnership with EverFi has grown to serve higher education and adults as well.
In week 2, we’ll begin using interactive modules that are personalised to each student based on his or her needs and goals. These cover a range of scenarios and topics such as paying for school and planning for life after graduation.
Week 3 — Regions Scholars and Dollars
Regions Scholars and Dollars is a program that was developed to teach banking in a classroom setting. The students will learn about different methods of banking and will complete worksheets to assist with their understanding.
Week 4 — Reality Fair
This is a chance for students to walk through real-life scenarios and begin applying what they have learned. Each student athlete will be given a “dummy” check-book and check register to learn how to manage their monthly expenses and account for their additions and deductions for expenses throughout the month. Students will be given a monthly stipend. They will visit booths that represent housing, utilities, cell phone and groceries.
Once the students make their selections at each booth, they will write the dollar amount in their check registers to facilitate the learning process of how to balance a checkbook. As we know, life happens, therefore, throughout the fair, random events will happen to some of the students.
For example, when life happens, it can be a positive. Maybe it is someone’s birthday, and their grandmother sent them $US50. They can add that $US50 to their check register. However, a student may park in faculty/staff parking one day and receive a $US25 parking ticket. They will then have to deduct that amount from their check register.
Week 5 — Ever Fi Module
This will be an extension of Week 2.
Week 6 — Savings
During the last week of the program, we will review everything that has been learned and place an emphasis on savings. We really want the students to understand that just because they received a specific amount of money each month, it doesn’t mean they have to spend it all. We want the students to understand that life really does happen and it best to be financially prepared.