The Student Money Management Center will educate students on “commanding their cash” in a full range of financial areas during its Financial Literacy Week Sept. 22-26.
"Financial illiteracy is something that is prevelant in today's society. We want to expose our students to important financial information that they can take with them the rest of their lives," said Kristy Vienne, SMMC director. "However, more importantly we want our student's to practice responsible financial practices, while they are in school, so that they do not accumulate large sum's of debt that they have a hard time paying back after college.
"We hope by exposing them to financial programs, literature and information now, we may help them develop financial practices that will allow them to be more fiscally responsible during their four years of college," she said.
The center’s “official kickoff” will begin Monday, when Walter Bennett and Lori Lehman, from Huntsville’s First National Bank, will discuss basic “banking products” such as savings accounts, as well as credit scores and how they affect borrowing money or getting a mortgage loan.
“Banking 101” will be held at 9 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.
At 10 a.m., the SMMC will formally open for business following a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of its office in Lowman Student Center Room 104, across from the Paw Print, during which a continental breakfast will be served and attendees can pick up some giveaways.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will have the opportunity to catch some cash during the Money Booth Contest in the LSC Mall Area.
“Students can get a chance to go in booth to catch money, but it’s going to have a Monopoly-type spin on it,” Vienne said. “When they get out, they’re going to have to draw a card and it might say, ‘You owe Uncle Sam ‘x’ amount of dollars.’”
That evening, comedian James Cunningham will make money a laughing matter during “Funny Money,” at 6 p.m. in the LSC Theater.
During the informative, “‘fun’-ancial seminar,” Cunningham will teach students the essential skills in earning, spending and saving money properly, first guiding participants to financial stability and then taking it to the next level—achieving great wealth and prosperity.
Tyler Johns, from Edward Jones, will address budgeting and the basics of saving during two separate seminars on Tuesday. “Building a Strong Financial Foundation” will be held at 9:30 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. in the LSC Theater, while “Right on the $: Creating a Monthly Budget,” during which students can bring in their financial information and plan their own expenses, will be held from 2-4 p.m. in LSC Room 320.
That evening, Monster.com will “make it count” by giving students the “Ultimate Money Skills” at 6:30 p.m. in the LSC Theater.
The presentation, which will be repeated on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., also in the LSC Theater, will cover a broad range of topics, including budgeting, saving, credit cards and the average debt of college students, what is in a credit report, weekly spending tracking, selecting a bank and managing student loans now and after college.
Students will have the opportunity to browse through SHSU vendors on Wednesday to ask the questions they “never took the time to ask anybody” during the Financial Literacy Vendor Expo Hall, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in LSC Room 320.
“We’ve invited the vendors to come back on campus, and students can go around and ask questions about things like credit scores,” Vienne said. “The vendors aren’t there to solicit; they can hand out product information, but it’s really giving students a chance to ask questions.”
Scholarship office coordinator Paula Turner will show students how they can get free money for their education at 2 p.m. in the LSC Theater.
Scholarships 101 will include a presentation on where to find scholarships on campus, the application process and the importance of applying for funding through the ScholarX online application, which is currently being used by criminal justice, Academic Affairs, education and Alumni Relations to find potential recipients.
“It’s (ScholarX is) literally a one-stop shop,” Turner said. “Students fill out the application form completely and the scholarship software itself, based on criteria established by the administrators, will actually pull in the student’s application. So when they fill out that one application, it’s for hundreds of scholarships. It takes the guesswork out of it.”
On Thursday morning, Joe Braxton, from the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, will address “Consumerism and Financial Literacy,” at 9:30 a.m. in LSC Room 320.
At 11 a.m., Mark Leonard, program officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Houston office, will address non-monetary forms of wealth during an interactive presentation in the LSC Theater.
During “Real Wealth,” students will have the opportunity to hear about and discuss current issues of personal and societal values; raising issues about the changing economic, demographic and geopolitical realities; and taking an active role in shaping the future.
Cait Blount, from the Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, will teach students the ins and outs of credit scores with “Good Credit vs. Bad Credit” at 12:30 p.m. in LSC 320.
Braxton will return to round out Thursday’s events with a discussion on identity theft at 2 p.m. in the LSC Theater.
“Identity theft is still pretty prevalent and usually college students are one of the most likely targets because of their use of technology and purchasing on unsecure Web sites,” Vienne said.
Finally, on Friday, students can pick up a free lunch with their financial literature from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LSC Mall Area.
“Students can get free hot dogs and hamburgers, and we will give out brochures, books, worksheets and answer questions about the Student Money Management Center,” Vienne said.
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