Magazine article University Business

Montana College Students Earning Financial Education Online: Nonprofit Organization Uses Financial Avenue from Inceptia on Multiple Campuses

Magazine article University Business

Montana College Students Earning Financial Education Online: Nonprofit Organization Uses Financial Avenue from Inceptia on Multiple Campuses

Article excerpt

At colleges across Montana, the nonprofit Student Assistance Foundation (SAF) provides students with the knowledge and tools to pursue and fund their postsecondary education. Using proceeds from its student loan servicing business and from its own fundraising efforts, the Helena-based organization offers grants, scholarships, community outreach, counseling, and training on financial education.

As part of its financial education outreach efforts, SAF provides financial literacy services to a variety of students, including first-time students, first-time loan borrowers, students struggling academically or on warning with the financial aid office, and those who have successfully appealed a financial aid suspension.

"Financial education is an important part of default prevention on campus," says Mary Howard, SAF financial literacy program manager and general manager, western outreach. "By providing financial education to students in school, we hope to positively affect their student loan repayment habits as well as spending and saving behaviors when they graduate." Her outreach office on the Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) campus at Kalispell works closely with financial aid personnel to help students avoid financial difficulties. SAF has outreach offices at nine participating institutions across the state; each office provides financial education and outreach to other colleges and high schools in the area.

SAF was looking for an affordable financial literacy program as part of its state-wide outreach efforts, but wanted to be sure it could show quantifiable results. Through membership in the National College Access Network (NCAN), SAF leadership learned about Inceptia's Financial Avenue program.

Financial Avenue offers financial literacy courses, tips, articles and resources to help schools and organizations show students how to take control of money management and the impact financial literacy has on their life.

Six online courses--as well as 10 mini-modules--are available, focusing on the topics of budgeting, paying for college, identity theft, credit cards, credit history, and contracts. …

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