July 10, 2013

Program to offer financial education to students

With a new $40,000 grant from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), Cornell will develop a financial education program for graduate, professional and undergraduate students.

The grant is part of CGS’s best practice program, Enhancing Student Financial Education, co-sponsored by TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider. Cornell will work in collaboration with CGS and TIAA-CREF to design a program that prepares students to play an active role in managing their personal finances and making informed decisions about saving, spending and borrowing.

Through workshops, events and discipline-specific outreach, Cornell will develop campuswide awareness using a coordinated, comprehensive and developmental approach to addressing financial needs of students by establishing a partnership among offices across campus that focus on academic success, student life, financial aid and career services, including student leadership organizations.

The program comes at a time when public funding for higher education has declined, but the costs associated with higher education continue to rise, said Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Barbara A. Knuth.

“The financial decisions students make are important for their long-term future. With a collaborative culture across colleges and schools, Cornell is uniquely positioned to provide national leadership on enhancing student financial education across undergraduate, graduate and professional programs,” said Knuth.

Cornell is one of 15 institutions to receive such a grant. By surveying and measuring the effectiveness of each grantee’s programming, CGS will develop best practices for improving financial education among college students.

Data collection for the project will begin in October. A control group of students will be surveyed to measure the effectiveness of interventions, and a post-program survey will examine the progress made by students who participated in the project curriculum and outreach. A survey of financial standing will gather information about household income, savings and borrowing to study how these factors influence students’ financial skills.

More information about the project is available at Enhancing Student Financial Education.