CashCourse Reaches 700 Schools Milestone

Univ. of Portland Making Student's Finances a Priority

Date: September 10, 2012

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

DENVER—Students are settling into their class routines at the University of Portland, where financial literacy has become a priority. The school is among the leading 700 colleges and universities in the U.S. to offer CashCourse®, one of the nation’s most comprehensive unbiased sources of financial information for college students.

Availability of the free online resource couldn’t come at a better time, with education loan debt rising and students starting to face money management decisions that can affect them well beyond their college years.

“Oftentimes, students’ parents have handled their finances and budgeting up to this point,” says Russell Seidelman, assistant director of outreach in the University of Portland Office of Financial Aid. “Now, many students are taking on debt with student loans. CashCourse can help them learn how to manage and pay down that debt, and how to budget and plan for life after college.”

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) launched CashCourse in 2007 in response to the growing need for reliable financial education resources for college students. Today, the program is used in financial aid and other offices at colleges and universities—public and private, large and small—across the country.

“There clearly is a demand and need for this type of resource, seeing that CashCourse has reached 700 schools in five years,” says Sara McHugh, NEFE’s chairwoman of the board and chief operating officer of the Portland-based Oregon Catholic Press.

McHugh grew up near the University of Portland, a Catholic school of about 4,000 students. Although her college scholarship took her elsewhere, some of her siblings attended the University of Portland on scholarships, and she understands the new challenges facing students currently enrolled at the school.

“When I was in college, most of the financial issues I faced came after graduation—finding a job, paying the rent and planning for a family down the road,” says McHugh. “Now, many students are getting into financial trouble during college with student loan debt and credit cards. The sooner we can reach them, the better off they will be when they graduate.”

Preparing Students for Financial Independence

Not only does CashCourse provide insight on managing student loans and paying for college, but also it addresses the range of additional money management issues that affect students’ overall financial lives, from using credit cards responsibly to finding a job and living on their own. The program teaches college students financial basics such as saving, investing, budgeting and debt in a way they can understand and appreciate.

Students and graduates can access the information 24/7 via a variety of resources on the site, including articles, video tutorials, calculators, quizzes and worksheets. Administrators and faculty can tap into an assortment of tools that help educate and evaluate students on personal finance, such as coursework, quizzes and workshop kits.

Seidelman is using CashCourse to meet an immediate need: helping the university’s low-income students develop the personal finance skills they need to fulfill eligibility requirements for Oregon’s Matched College Savings Program (MCSP), which helps college students pay for their education.

“These students are going through CashCourse’s e-learning coursework, specifically the section called Getting Started with Saving and Investing,” Seidelman says. “I have liked seeing how they answer the course quiz at the beginning, then again at the end of tutorial. We have had good results.”

In addition to state programs like Oregon’s MCSP, CashCourse is being used nationwide by more than 130 TRiO programs, which use federal funds under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) to provide academic support to low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities. HEOA-required academic support now includes information on financial topics such as budgeting, money management and credit; CashCourse has designed webinars, tutorials and other TRiO-specific programming in response.

“The variety of schools and programs that have enrolled in the program demonstrates the diversity in the types of audiences who are in need of financial education and who CashCourse can help,” says Amy Hartenstine, director of CashCourse. “We continue to enhance our offerings in response to both students’ and schools’ growing and wide-ranging needs.”

As the new school year kicks off, Seidelman says he is working on ways to spread the word about CashCourse. He plans to highlight the online program at the University of Portland’s October financial aid session for current students, and to include CashCourse in presentations at area high schools.

About CashCourse

CashCourse was created by the National Endowment for Financial Education and is available free to all public and private nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States. CashCourse content is unbiased and noncommercial. For more information, visit www.cashcourse.org.

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Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]