UC Merced students last week discovered that when it comes to college, the financial decisions they make while getting their education can cost them way more than the price of tuition and books.
“According to research, the average college student carries more than $15,000 in personal debt after graduation – not including student loans,” said Enrique Guzman, student life programs manager at UC Merced. “That alone is reason enough for our campus to provide financial education for students.”
The education Guzman refers to is a series of Wednesday workshops that will last from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Bobcat Lair through April 22. The Money Wise Bobcat Institute helps students learn how to make sound financial decisions during and after college.
“We’re bringing in financial professionals from the community to give our students the information necessary to be wise with their money,” Guzman said.
On Feb. 25, Educational Employees Credit Union representatives led a presentation on the differences between banks and credit unions. Future workshops will address how credit works, student loans, budgeting, investing, and how to protect against identity theft.
If the topics aren’t appealing enough, the sponsors are also offering pizza and refreshments at every session. Students who attended Feb. 25’s kick-off workshop were in for an even bigger treat, though. Aside from leaving the workshop wiser about wealth, Adrian Garcia also took home a Wii Gaming System. There will be a drawing at the end of every session for all the individuals that participated in the workshop.
Though the workshops are student focused, Guzman says they are open to the entire university community.
“I don’t know of a single person who could not benefit from the information presented at these sessions,” he said. “Something as simple as creating and maintaining a budget is a challenge for many professionals – and identity theft could affect any one of us.”
- March 4 – Credit “How It Works”
- March 11 – Budget/Money Management
- March 18 – Investments
- March 25 – Spring Break
- April 1 – Identity Theft
- April 8 – Life After College/Student Loans
- April 22 – Financial Round Table/Celebration Banquet
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