Posted March 5, 2009
The Idaho State University Financial Wellness Center has launched a Web site, http://fwc.ed.isu.edu, to offer resources for students seeking financial advice and assistance to combat the “financial education crisis in our country.”
Universities have reported “higher dropout rates due to debt burdens, than from academic failure,” according to a study done by Suzanne Hayes at the University of Nebraska.
Closer to home, according to an attrition study conducted in 2005 by Idaho State University, lack of financial management was identified as a key reason students do not complete a degree. The creation of the Financial Wellness Center and its Web site are part of the efforts the University is undergoing to help retain students, and help them after they graduate.
“Although the Web site is currently under construction and in its initial stages, we invite the University community to take a look,” said Janaan Haskell, field director for the ISU Center for Economic Education. “We encourage students and prospective students to use it as a resource in this time of financial challenge. The Web site will continue to grow and adjust to the ever changing economy.”
The Web site also describes the ISU Financial Wellness Center and how someone can become a client and receive services.
The Financial Wellness Center, located in the ISU College of Education’s Center for Economic Education, has a multi-pronged mission to promote financial awareness and financial literacy in the University; provide free one-on-one advising; network with campus, professional and community resources; and improve university student retention and recruitment.
The current financial crisis demonstrates the need for financial education in the United States. The Financial Wellness Center offers up some disturbing facts such as:
• A study completed in 2003 documented that 43 percent of Americans live above their means, spending $1.22 for every dollar they earn. The study indicated the average household credit card debt was $8,000; and
• 1.1 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2008 – the most since 2005, according to the Web site www.bloomberg.com.
“Increased financial education is crucial for the current and future success of our students,” Haskell said. “And the Financial Wellness Center will help.