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College offers resources for financial literacy

By Tejas Mallela
On February 20, 2018

With student loan obligations spiraling upwards in excess of $1.4 trillion, the lack of financial literacy amongst students makes the effects of student debt crisis particularly punitive. 

The Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy gave the State of Iowa a C grade on their Financial Report Card of 2017, which awards states grades for their efforts in producing financially literate high-school students. 

Need for Financial Literacy 

Todd Saville, personal finance instructor, said he sees a great need for literacy amongst students. “Managing money is central to realizing many of our aspirations in life. But most often, students have never been exposed to any form of financial literacy.” 

Saville added, “Students should take responsibility of their financial situation, educate themselves and charter a path of discipline.”

How to Get Started

A simple budget spreadsheet is a good starting point for most students, where one compares how much money is coming in to how much money is going out as expenses, advised Saville. Tracking this list brings in an awareness of one’s financial situation. 

Saville said he believes that creating financial goals, establishing credit worthiness, budgeting and managing student loans are principles easy to understand but have profound effects over the long term. 

He sees the principles covered in the course to be of practical benefit to not just those in the Financial Services program but to all students on campus. 

Financial Assistance 

There are a variety of financial resources at the federal, state and institutional level that Kirkwood Community College students can utilize to help pay for college. 

FAFSA is perhaps the most well-known means of accessing federal aid, a process that students may find overwhelming, according to Saville. The One Stop Office, located in Kirkwood Hall, staffs student support specialists and advisors to help students tackle such matters. 

Director of Financial Aid Matthew Falduto offered a few suggestions for students. “Submitting the FAFSA early is my primary recommendation. It means that there is time for the office to process the application and coordinate with the student if any further material is required,” he said.  

Falduto also said he hopes for more students to consider applying for scholarships, many of which are based more on need than merit. “I am surprised at how few students apply for scholarships at Kirkwood. A single application is all it takes to be considered for most of the scholarships,” he added. 

Kirkwood awards more than $3 million annually in scholarships. The deadline for submitting the scholarship application material is March 15. For more information log on to http://www.kirkwood.edu/financialaid.

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