Become financially literate

Kim Brown

The College of Business, Beta Alpha Psi, Accounting Association and Student Financial Aid present financial literacy tactics to students

Are you a “golden eagle” or “bad chicken” when it comes to financial literacy? The word in the College of Business is to be a financially savvy eagle.

Twenty College of Business students attended the first peer-to-peer Financial Literacy Awareness Program yesterday afternoon in the Business Administration Building.

The program focused on providing basic financial understanding and tips to help students develop useful scholarship, loan, budget and credit habits.

FLAP was presented by members of Beta Alpha Psi and the Accounting Association in conjunction with Student Financial Aid.

The “golden eagle” and “bad chicken” characters represented responsible and irresponsible approaches to spending, budgeting and saving habits.

“It’s important to know that if you use a budget, you control your money, and your money doesn’t control you,” said Kelly Pulling, Beta Alpha Psi treasurer.

Pulling explained the allocation of a student’s income is critical for planning every month or year to budget debt free. Students participated in an income and expense activity to personally view their expenses and debt.

Students were encouraged to attend the presentation to better their financial knowledge to begin implementing tactics during their college careers.

The presentation also covered financial aid options and compared available scholarship money with working income hours.

Credit scores and credit card facts were explained to describe what factors affect credit numbers. Members explained the amount of debt owed, payment history and the length of credit history can increase or decrease a student’s credit score, and it is important to start building credit now.

“We thought combining with an existing student organization that wanted to get the word out on long-term financial views and things students can do to be smarter about their money now and how to look ahead was helpful,” said Conni Dubick, associate director of student financial aid.

Dubick said information shared student-to-student is beneficial because students are more interested in paying attention to their peers and will hopefully make wise decisions from personal experiences.

“A lot of college students don’t think into the future, and we only think about the temporary and finding temporary solutions,” Bronwyn Salo, Beta Alpha Psi president, said. “A lot of times we don’t realize those temporary solutions can cause huge problems later.”

Salo, a graduate student in accounting, said the purpose of the session was to allow students to realize the choices they make now impact their future.

Members presented explanations and help with income and expenses and investing. They said time is a major factor, and the best time to start saving is now. Videos and activities added to student understanding.

“I thought the whole presentation was well done,” freshmen business major Emily Alexander said. “I think the whole idea of budgeting can help everyone in keeping track of your financial status and how much to spend.”

The fraternity and association provided examples and personal experiences with savings, scholarships and controlling money to help motivate students to be proactive with their financial abilities.

Sophomore accounting major Allan Donovan said the session was beneficial to him because it showed how he can save money. He said the credit card information made him realize being in debt with credit cards is something he needs to fix.

“When you do start listening to this information, it really does click, and it makes you want to get started,” said Renee Pearce, junior accounting and computer information system major and Accounting Association secretary.

Various prizes were awarded for student participation. The session concluded with additional tips, and students were able to ask questions or voice concerns.

This is the first semester for the program, and Dubick said presentations to the College of Business orientation classes will begin next fall. Student Financial Aid combined with Beta Alpha Psi and the Accounting Association during a financial literacy fair.

“You always hear stories about how students get into debt, and it’s usually after the fact that they don’t take advantage of learning the effects,” said Michael Murphy, senior accounting major and Accounting Association historian. “We’ve had an ongoing effort for financial literacy.”

The program was sponsored by Student Financial Aid, the College of Business, Ohio Society of CPA, Kent State Investment Club and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Contact student affairs reporter Kim Brown at [email protected].