Texas A&M University-San Antonio students gathered wisdom on an otherwise foolish day at the “Don’t Be a Fool…Know the Basics of Financial Literacy” workshop April 1 in the Science and Technology Building.
The inaugural event was created to get students thinking about their financial future as part of Money Smart Week, a national campaign to help people better manage their personal finances.
Dr. Edwin Blanton, executive director of the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, delivered this “come and go as needed” financial literacy workshop to 19 students.
“Financial literacy is extremely important for everyone,” Blanton said. “Especially for students paying tuition and then having to prepare for the future.”
When students arrived, they were greeted with pizza and a bingo card to help guide them through financial literacy web-based modules. The eight learning modules were Mobile Payments, Prepaid Cards, Overdraft, Monthly Budget Tool, Banking Basics, Identity Protection, Credit Card and Budgeting Tool.
“It was important for me to attend the Financial Literacy workshop because it was a useful opportunity to reflect on how I currently handle finances and compare them to new strategies taught in the workshop,” said Angelica Rodriguez, an exercise science senior attending the event.
Before diving into the modules on the classroom’s laptops, students took an initial online evaluation to determine their level of financial literacy. Once students completed the evaluation and at least three of the modules, they received their choice of a $10 Starbucks gift card or a mini Bluetooth speaker. As students worked independently through each section, they learned how to find and understand their credit scores, how to protect themselves from identity theft and how to avoid banking overdraft fees.
“We discovered the need for these events through a survey that was recently completed by members of the student body,” Blanton said.
The survey, completed in fall 2018 by A&M-San Antonio students, revealed 66% of undergraduates worry about having enough money to pay for school, while 59% of graduate students indicated it is important to them to support their family financially while in school.
Blanton said students who are interested in learning about basic financial literacy but were unable to attend the workshop can log on to taafinsights.org/tamusa with their JagWire username and password. Here they can work through the online modules at their own pace.
Blanton plans to offer more free financial literacy programming in the fall with keynote speakers focusing on topics that not only help students through their current financial struggles but also help them financially plan for their future. Students can find the upcoming events on JagSync once they are confirmed.