There is finally a way for college students to learn how to “adult” in matters of financial literacy.
Keeping up with bills, paying off student loans and attempting to save money every month can be a lot to manage without practice. One program at Texas State has come together to teach students how to be financially responsible.
The Career and Financial Education program began about a year and a half ago. Since then, it has been ranked in the top 50 college financial literacy programs of 2018, landing its spot at number 22.
The program was judged and ranked off of the extensive services available on CAFE’s website. However, CAFE does much more than just provide friendly links for students to get advice from.
Terrance McClain, student development specialist, said CAFE is responsible for a multitude of things such as coaching, presentations and workshops.
“We look at different aspects that are concerned with budgeting, student loan and credit,” McClain said. “So if a student wants to have like a financial session to kind of get more information about like how to look at credit, budgeting or other complicated things, we do have a specific person where you can target it and work with them to kind of go through those things, kind of like a one-on-one appointment.”
Each student has different financial needs, so CAFE provides a variety of topics to cover and numerous coaches to work with.
Presentations and workshops hosted by the program, many including guest speakers, are open to the public and held throughout each semester.
“One of our biggest things is the financial expo,” McClain said. “Basically we have vendors from around the community and inside the university that provide some type of financial assistance or education.”
CAFE is a Title V grant program, which essentially means the program is on a trial run and is funded by the government and not the university. If CAFE continues to thrive, the university will begin to receive a substantial amount of money to keep it running. At this point, the program would be considered institutionalized.
Loraine Ribon-Gutierrez, engineering senior, said she has benefited from CAFE and picked up some helpful tips from the program.
“I always used to think how helpful it would be if there was a class in high school offered on how to save money, balance a checkbook, save money, that sort of thing,” Ribon-Gutierrez said. “To know that there actually is a program to teach you those things is really comforting because let’s be real: none of us know how to (be an) adult when we get here.”
Ribon-Gutierrez said she now feels more confident going out into the world when she graduates than she did before using CAFE’s services.
Oftentimes, students leave college ready to take on the world but are caught off-guard by financial responsibilities. CAFE seeks to make sure all Bobcats have the opportunity to know practical tips to practice financial stability before graudating.
For more information on CAFE, please visit http://www.ucollege.txstate.edu/strategic-initiatives/cafe.htm