Helping Students Maintain their Financial Fitness

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Bryan Rutan
CONTRIBUTOR

A series of lectures offered by the College of Business Administration (CBA) is giving students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha an opportunity to take control of their financial future.

The CBA Financial Literacy KEES (Knowledge, Engagement, Empowerment, Sustainability) Program is a series of free seminars aimed at increasing the financial awareness of attendees. The series of six seminars covers a wide range of topics including budgeting, home buying, saving and investing, insurance, retirement and managing credit.

According to program director Laura Beal, one major focus of the program is to help students understand taking a proactive approach to their finances is imperative to their future financial security.

“Students tend to have a myopic view and don’t realize that the decisions they make today can have a tremendous impact on their ability to choose where to live, where to work, when they can retire and even their decision to get married and raise a family,” Beal said.

Photo Courtesy of unomaha.edu
Photo Courtesy of unomaha.edu

The 75-minute seminars are led by Heather Kudron of Wells Fargo Bank. The seminars are part lecture and part Q & A session. Kudron typically leads the lecture portion of the seminar. Attendees are given an opportunity to engage with oth-er Wells Fargo bankers who answer more specific questions from participants.

Beal said students are also encouraged to use the hands-on banking materials provided by Wells Fargo during the sessions.

“The budgeting seminar provides a toolkit that students can use to calculate personal net worth as well as track monthly income/expenses,” Beal said.

The CBA began offering seminars in the Fall of 2015. Each topic was broken up over two separate seminars during the first year which was a total of 12 sessions.

Beal said attendance for each session in the first year was some-where between 10 and 15 people, which was a little less than organizers had hoped for. In 2016, the CBA decided to tweak the program so each 75-minute seminar is de-signed to cover one of the six topics in its entirety.

Average attendance for the first two sessions of this year has been between 50 and 60 students.

“We have seen incredible growth in the number of attendees, not just from CBA students, but students from other colleges at UNO as well as students from other universities such as UNMC,” Beal said.

The seminars are offered free of charge to all students regardless of discipline or college. Anyone interested in attending a session does need to preregister, and can do so by visiting the CBA’s Financial Literacy Program homepage.

Ultimately, the program’s focus is to provide viable financial strategies which attendees can use when planning for their future as well as support for those who may be making personal financial decisions for the first time.

“Total U.S. student loan debt exceeds 1 trillion dollars. Add to that credit card debt, auto and home payments, insurance, and saving for retirement and you can see how personal finances might overwhelm a student who is away from home for the first time,” Beal said.

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