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Financial Literacy Week Mixes Education, Fun

Feb. 11, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Sara Thompson

“Now is the time when college students are making some of the biggest financial decisions—and mistakes—of their lives.” said Jacki Ashorn, assistant director for Sam Houston State University’s Student Money Management Center. “That is why our goal is to educate students to make more informed decisions and circumvent those bad ones.”

The center’s third annual Financial Literacy Week will do just that, by educating students on a wide variety of topics Feb. 21-25.

The week will include 18 different events, including mock game shows, chances to win prizes, stand-up comedy, and even a cooking demonstration. SHSU students will also have access to exclusive one-on-one services such as having their Free Application for Student Aid (FASFA) and Income taxes filed for free.

Events for Monday morning (Feb. 21) will be held in Lowman Student Center Room 320. These include “Banking 101” at 10 a.m. and “Scholarships 101” at 2 p.m. In between these events, students have the opportunity to meet with a campus financial aid representative from noon to 2 p.m. during the center’s “Financial Aid Workshop.” There, representatives will personally assist students in the process of filing their FAFSA and answer any financial aid questions.

That evening, SMMC will host the premiere of Financial Literacy Week’s newest event, “Financial Jeopardy.” Based on the TV game show, students will be quizzed on finance related questions during the semi-finals round at 6 p.m. in the LSC Theater. Six SHSU students will compete in front of a live audience for a spot in the finals round to be held later in the week.

Any student has the chance to be a contestant by taking the qualifying quiz, available on the SMMC website, before Feb. 15. The quiz contains basic personal finance questions, and the students with the six highest scores will be chosen to compete in the semi-finals round.

Tuesday morning’s events will be held in LSC Room 315. These events include “Credit Reports and Credit Scores” at 9:30 a.m., “Budgeting Workshop” at 11:00 a.m., and “College Students and Debt” at 12:30 pm.

Later that day, the head clinical dietian from Huntsville Memorial Hospital will host “Healthy Meals on a Dime” at 5 p.m. in the LSC Ballroom. Complete with recipes, a cooking demonstration, and food tasting, students will learn about all aspects of a healthy diet and how to eat nutritiously on a college-friendly budget.

“Everyone wants to eat healthy, but on a college budget, most students have a misconception that the cheapest option is the dollar menu, and that isn’t always true,” said Ashorn.

Keynote speaker Yoram Bauman, will kick-off Wednesday’s events. Bauman, who refers to himself as the first and only “stand-up economist,” will educate and entertain students through his comedy show. A professor of economics at the University of Washington, he performs nation wide and has been featured on networks such as Comedy Central. Bauman’s show “Stand-up Economics,” will be held at 11 a.m. in the LSC Theater.

Other events on Wednesday include “Financial Aid 101” and “Saving for Spring Break,” at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively, in LSC Room 315. Later, the final three Financial Jeopardy contestants will compete for the grand prize during the finals round at 6 p.m. in the LSC Theater. The champion will win a Xbox 360 console with Kinect.

Thursday offers a variety of events, including one organized by the SMMC that will involve many unsuspecting SHSU students campus wide. Based on the Discovery Channel TV show Cash Cab, “Kat Cab” will give students the opportunity to win prizes by answering an array of personal finance questions.

Representatives from the Student Money Management Center will drive golf carts and offer rides to class, the parking lot, or any other campus destination for students who are willing to participate. Prizes will be handed out to those who answer all questions correctly before they reach their destination.

Four additional events will be held throughout the day in LSC Room 315. Morning presentations include “Credit Cards: Make Them Work For You” at 9:30 a.m. and “Smart Consumerism” at 11 a.m.. Later that afternoon, students can attend “Loans and Lending Facts” at 2 p.m. and “Investments 101” at 4 p.m.

The week’s final event offers students one-on-one income tax assistance with Houston area representatives from the IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. From 9 a.m. to noon in LSC Room 315, SHSU students can meet with a representative who will prepare their taxes from them free of charge. A full list of documents a student will need to bring to the event is available on the SMMC website.

In conjunction with all the events, the center will be hosting three different contests available to all who attend.

First is an individual contest for scholarships, which will be given to three SHSU students. For every five events a student attends, they are eligible to enter a raffle to win a $650 scholarship. Names will be drawn at the end of the week by the Student Money Management Center.

The final two competitions offer cash prizes to both the student organization and residence hall with the largest number of students in attendance. For smaller organizations, students are also allowed to bring a maximum of three non-members per person who can sign in behalf of an organization. At the end of the week, the SMMC will reward a grand prize of $1,000 to the winners of both contests, to use however they see fit.

For more information on Financial Literacy Week, contact the Student Money Management Center at 936.294.2600 or smmc@shsu.edu.


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