Personal Finance College Courses Raise Financial Competencies

Student attending Personal Finance College Course by NFEC

The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) is a socially responsible, independent organization that promotes financial literacy among citizens around the U.S. and the world. One major component of the NFEC’s efforts now can be found on college campuses across the country. These personal finance college course materials and resources are designed for maximum flexibility—they can be presented in single classrooms, extended workshop formats, or combined into a full-scale campus-wide initiative.

One community college provides an excellent case study to illustrate how these personal finance college programs can work. This school launched the inaugural semester of its financial literacy program by presenting the NFEC’s Financial Empowerment Workshop Series over four class periods in the already-scheduled Adult Basic Education (ABE) and General Education Degree (GED) courses. These workshops covered key personal finance topics like credit, debt, savings, employment, and investment basics. The students, who received Certificates of Accomplishment for graduating the workshops, reported improved financial knowledge and greater confidence in their ability to handle money issues in the future.

The school’s comprehensive college personal finance campaign continued with two 90-minute crash course workshops, one for community members (Building Your Credit Rating) and one for community college faculty and staff (Retirement Planning and Investing). A month later, the campaign hosted an exciting Scavenger Hunt, a fun reality-based contest that helped participants pick up money management skills while competing for prizes.

Next on the agenda of this college personal finance program came two classes targeted to prospective students who attended the school’s Open Houses. One class was presented for students who brought parents (College Family Finance) and one was presented for students who came alone (Financial Empowerment). Throughout the month of April 2013, the whole campus celebrated Financial Literacy Month with booths, contests, and free online resources.

Finally, this campus-wide initiative ended with a Closing Ceremonies event featuring food, games, and participant recognition. This initial semester of a college program illustrates how the NFEC facilitates partnership and community goodwill to foster college student budgeting, money management, and financial well-being.