Harvard University Employees Credit Union presents winter term class on personal finance to Harvard undergraduates

CAMBRIDGE, MA (March 6, 2013) — For the third consecutive year, Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU) engaged undergraduates during Harvard’s Winter Session, or “J-term,” with a comprehensive financial literacy class designed to provide a broad introduction to information and skills essential for successful personal financial management and improvement.

Entitled “Personal Financial Management,” the optional class ran three days with a four-hour session each day. The enrolled students received a carefully targeted understanding of consumer credit, credit scoring, personal budgeting, financial goal setting, planning, insurance, taxes, the financial marketplace, and investing.

Though each subject area could have been a semester-long class of its own, the goal of the “survey course” curriculum was to present the knowledge most critical for undergraduates to understand and apply now in their personal financial life.

The feedback from the students has been overwhelmingly positive. On the third day of the program, one attendee remarked, “the practical benefits of this program cannot be overstated.” Another student commented, “This has been quite helpful! I will recommend this to friends in the future.” One student who rated the program as very useful, mentioned, “I didn’t know what I’d be missing, had I not taken the program.” Yet another satisfied student remarked, “Perfect for anyone that needs good starting advice and knowledge for finance management in and just out of college.”

According to Tom Murphy, HUECU’s Director of Student Services, less than 20 percent of college students receive any kind of formal personal financial education—a knowledge gap he says leaves serious potential for financial missteps in college and beyond.

“Though most students have been using and managing money since before they were in kindergarten, a significant portion of their financial education has been self-taught,” Murphy said. “We live in an increasingly complex financial world, and the better we prepare them now for that reality, the more successful they’ll be when they come face-to-face with it.”

Though HUECU has routinely offered financial seminars and workshops to students in the past, this marked the third time the Credit Union offered a formal, comprehensive class.

The first day of the program provided students with the foundation to develop a solid financial plan. Using the case study method, students reviewed the fundamentals for proper financial planning and use of credit.

The second day of the program included a panel of recent graduates from Harvard Business School (HBS), the College and Harvard Law School. Additionally, TIAA-CREF addressed the topic of personal investing, understanding risk, and diversifying your investment portfolio.

The final day of the program progressed to the topics of wealth management, insurance, and taxes. The Colony Group presented an overview of the wealth management process, taxes, risk mitigation, and personal insurance. The program concluded with a consideration of investing and pro-social spending, presented by the Director of Enterprise Growth Strategy at American Express and HBS Alum, Shahar Ziv.

“Historically, it has primarily been the responsibility of parents to teach their children the basics of personal financial management,” said HUECU President and CEO Gene Foley. “The problem with that is the financial products now offered in the 21st century are not the same as the ones that parents grew up with.”

For more information on the Personal Financial Program, contact Tom Montilli at (617) 496-8865 or

About Harvard University Employees Credit Union
Offering a variety of quality financial services, Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU) has been serving its members since 1939. Priding itself on a tradition of excellent service, HUECU provides a complete line of financial services for most personal and commercial needs. HUECU is a state-chartered credit union, organized under strict regulatory laws that are monitored and enforced by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


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