MSUFCU Creates Financial Awareness for Incoming Michigan State University Students
The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and Michigan State University’s incoming class of freshmen and transfer students have already gotten a glimpse of campus life when they partook in this summer’s Academic Orientation Program (AOP). As students get ready for their transition to college, MSUFCU helped provide necessary financial education through a Financial Reality Fair.
MSUFCU partnered with Visa and MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies to provide the personal and interactive event. The fair was held each afternoon of AOP in MSU’s Case Hall and was open to all students. Each student received a “passport” to visit four stations designed to prepare them for financial circumstances they’re likely to face in the next four years. Once their passports were “stamped” at each station, students entered to win a $75 gift certificate for books, as well as a dormitory gift basket. All students received MSUFCU swag for their participation.
At these stations, students learned the importance of making choices with money and budgeting based on their values; the role of credit in their lives and how to begin building positive credit; the mechanics of financial aid and how to borrow wisely; and the perks of being an MSUFCU student member. Students also had ample opportunities to receive one-on-one attention to have their questions and concerns about finances addressed. Through these conversations, student curiosity piqued and many misconceptions were cleared.
Cecilia, a member of MSUFCU’s Financial Education Department, was one of several employees who had the opportunity to foster student knowledge. After participating in the Reality Fair, Cecilia said that many students were extremely grateful for the newfound knowledge, expressing they had no idea how much they were missing before attending the event. “There are 500 incoming freshmen who are now better prepared for the future. We were able to give them advice on issues regarding credit cards, housing on and off campus, and debt repayment. It feels great knowing we really helped them.”
“I think the most rewarding part was seeing students gain confidence,” said Mary, another member of MSUFCU’s Financial Education team. “I had one student who — after learning how easily she could build positive credit by making small purchases and paying them back on time — returned to the MSUFCU benefits table she had just left to open a credit card. It’s encouraging to see young people taking initiative to improve their financial futures.”
Hopefully, the financial learning will not stop at AOP. Students were made aware of resources available to them, including MSUFCU’s Financial 4.0 website, where they have the opportunity to continue to improve their financial knowledge.