Affinity Plus provides crucial financial education at Minnesota State University-Moorhead through First Year Experience courses
ST PAUL, MN (December 28, 2016) — It’s a regular conversation for college and university students: What’s the right amount of loan debt? How do I manage my finances through my school years? And what are the best repayment strategies after graduation?
Those conversation are vital, but sometimes come too late, experts say. The best time should be as early as students’ first year, or even before.
Because of that, Affinity Plus financial educators and Minnesota State University-Moorhead (MSUM) are continuing their successful partnership to provide essential financial education in MSUM’s First Year Experience (FYE) courses.
This is the third year MSUM and Affinity Plus have collaborated on financial education programming, and each semester Affinity Plus staff have presented at 10 FYE courses.
What began in 2014 with one professor asking Affinity Plus to share information to his first-year students, now credit-union staff are presenting in multiple classes each semester, said Rozlyn Johnson, Affinity Plus financial educator and member advisor.
“We could tell right away our information was resonating with students,” Johnson said. “They seemed grateful that someone would have an open conversation with them about money.”
Rob Greene, also a financial educator and member advisor, added that in the most-recent fall semester “we reached almost 100 more students compared to last fall. We’re really glad for that.”
GOALS, HABITS, RESPONSIBILITIES
FYE classes at MSUM help freshmen make a smoother transition from high school to college by focusing on setting goals; developing strong financial habits; balancing their new responsibilities; and avoiding common financial pitfalls, Greene said.
“The reality is that many students will rely on student loans to finance their degree and achieve their educational goals,” he said. “So, part of our conversations with them is about understanding the present and future implications of those loans.”
At the same time, Johnson said students face “day to day challenges related to getting and using their first credit card, building credit, and understanding how they can pay for those ongoing college expenses.”
Kevin Zepper, MSUM English professor, praised Affinity Plus’ seminars for giving students “a deeper understanding of personal finance issues that they may not have had yet at this stage of their lives.”
Affinity Plus opened a campus branch nearly 17 years ago on the Minnesota State University-Moorhead (MSUM) campus of more than 6,500 students and 250 faculty members. Affinity Plus is the only financial institution with a physical branch on the MSUM campus.
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