Personal Finance for Students – Are we Moving in the Right Direction?

Source: Brandon Endsley wears many hats for the Purdue University Division of Financial Aid. From financial aid responsibilities to the administration of an online financial literacy program called MyMoney, he is in tune with how students are approaching personal finance in today’s day and age.

Let’s be honest: many students are more interested in partying than focusing on their personal finances. While there is nothing wrong with having fun in college, this is also a great time to prepare for what the real world is about to bring.

In the past, students were more or less on their own when it came to their finances. Sure, they could rely on their parents, books, and the advice of others, but there were not any advanced tools to show them the way.

Fortunately, technology has changed all that. Even more so, a growing number of institutions are implementing programs that can help students in a variety of ways.

The Student Approach to Personal Finance

MyMoney Purdue has high hopes for students. Through this program, the university strives to help students attain financial freedom through the use of advanced tools and high quality information.

Endsley shared more on this program, as well as other advice for college students:

1. How does MyMoney Purdue help students better approach personal finances?

MyMoneyPurdue helps students approach personal finance through blogs written by fellow students, recent graduates, freelance writers, or by university employees. MyMoneyPurdue focuses on articles that will help students succeed financially while at Purdue. We have articles covering best housing options, lowering the cost of books, or fun articles that cover frugal date ideas. MyMoney has reference materials for students and provides outreaches to Purdue University students and the local community on personal finance throughout the year.

2. Do you find that students in today’s day and age are more receptive to financial information than past generations?

I think students are more receptive to financial information. It seems that financial literacy is the current hot topic across a broad spectrum of organizations and students see this through the media, in class rooms, or are faced with it at work. So in that aspect, I feel like students today are faced with financial literacy topics more often than students in the past and are more receptive to the information being presented. I do find that students who have experienced financial difficulties in the past or students who are about to graduate are more interested in financial topics than their counterparts.

3. What types of tools do you offer to help manage debt, increase financial awareness, etc.?

At our home site we offer financial calculators to forecast debt, plan for retirement, or to see how much financial aid you can expect; we have links to student testimonies; and recently we have added resources for parents and teachers to use for students k-12. We are continuously trying to keep MyMoney relevant and up-to-date by looking for the best tools and resources available.

Final Thoughts

How great would it be if every college offered a similar program? This is a huge benefit to Purdue University students, as well as any others who follow along with the information and advice provided.

If nothing else, programs like this show that personal finance for students is moving in the right direction.

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