Balancing a budget and pinching pennies

Kristine Gill

Workshop to help students gain financial literacy

Students concerned about their shrinking wallet or growing credit card debt don’t have to go far for help.

The Financial Aid office will hold a financial literacy workshop at 1 p.m. today in Room 319 of the Student Center to help students gain control of their finances. The workshop will be the last of three presentations this semester.

Conni Dubick, associate director of student financial aid, said the program aims to build on what students already know about their finances.

She said financial literacy is a national problem.

“We want (students) to move to a leadership position,” she said, adding that it’s important students learn to manage their own data and financial aid instead of relying on their parents to do so.

The workshop will cover how to create a budget, manage a credit card, avoid identity theft, select a bank and manage a savings account. It will include some information about financial aid processes, but it is not restricted to financial issues created by college.

Dubick said the workshop was started to give students a better understanding of their overall financial picture.

“It’s evident from what’s on the Web that there is a dramatic need across the country for high school students to understand how to pay for college,” Dubick said, adding that half the nation’s credit card debt is incurred by college students.

But Dubick said the workshop isn’t just focusing on the financial implications caused by the cost of college.

“Any student at any point in their career could use financial literacy information,” Dubick said. “Everyone is trying to manage their money to the best they can.”

While the workshop will cover those things such as creating a budget, Dubick’s office will not do it for students.

“We’re not a financial planning office. It’s not our goal or responsibility,” Dubick said. “We do give links to appropriate resources online.”

Dubick hopes students will feel less stressed once they’ve gained a better understanding of their finances and learned to avoid common mistakes.

“You don’t want to have too much month left at the end of your money,” she said.

Contact student affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].