“I am honored to receive the MCUL Professional of the Year Award and proud to be a part of MSUFCU's mission of helping members and employees achieve financial success, their goals, and ultimately, their dreams. This award is particularly meaningful to me as it is presented by the MCUL, whose mission of strengthening the credit union community while enriching the lives of its members is so closely aligned with that of MSUFCU. ”— Sara Dolan, MSUFCU Chief Financial Officer
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Money Smart University

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Published: Jun 10, 2019

Money Smart University Provides Financial Education, Scholarship Opportunities

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Once again, Money Smart University was a successful week of financial literacy programming this year.


The fifth-annual Money Smart Week (MSW) event, which was held April 1-4, 2019, on the campus of Michigan State University, saw over 1,600 students attend a variety of financial education activities. MSW, started in 2002, was designed to help consumers of all demographics and income levels better manage their personal finances through presentations and events by financial institutions, community groups, government agencies, and more.


“Money Smart University is a week of events on campus that our team looks forward to every year,” said Paul, an MSUFCU Financial Educator. “It’s a time to increase our reach with students to help them with their personal finances in a fun, approachable way. Our committee understands that money, especially when it’s your own, can be a scary subject, so we strive to make our programming more fun and engaging every year. I think we accomplished that!”


Programming included Financial 4.0 sessions, led by MSUFCU Financial Educators, covering the topics of credit and investing, drop-in financial aid advising by the MSU Office of Financial Aid, several MSU Human Development and Family Studies faculty presentations, an expert panel discussion on an array of financial topics, a fireside chat with “Get Money” author Kristin Wong, and the week was capped off by the GeoCache and Financial Resource Fair. Throughout the week, students not only gathered great information, but had the opportunity to win prizes and even scholarship money.


In order to have a chance to win scholarship money, students could enter into Money Smart University’s newest contest, “Go for the Green: Financial Literacy Scholarship.” Students were asked to submit a two-minute video that helped illustrate their answers to the question, “What does it mean to be ‘Money Smart’ in your savings practices?” All participants had to submit their videos by the end of February and submissions were reviewed in March by a panel of judges. The finalists then showed and explained their videos to students, who also served as judges, at the GeoCache and Financial Resource Fair. The top three finalists all took home scholarship money — $1500, $750, and $500, respectively.


“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to continue my education here at MSU through your scholarship, and for giving me the chance to learn and share in an experience as profound as the GeoCache and Financial Resource Fair,” said first-place winner, Elisha, an MSU sophomore. “This is the kind of opportunity that will impact the way I move forward in my life and my financial decisions, and that taught me important life skills such as presenting and representing myself.”


The Money Smart University Committee consists of individuals from MSUFCU, the MSU College of Social Science, Department of Human Development & Family Studies, Department of Economics, MSU Libraries, MSU Extension, and Office of Financial Aid. This group has already started looking forward to Money Smart University in 2020 and will be planning for an even better week of programming over the next year.