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Saint Mary’s starts financial literacy program

| Monday, October 12, 2015

This year, the Saint Mary’s financial aid office implemented a financial literacy program called $avvy to help students learn more about personal finance.

Selvin Quire, assistant director of financial aid, said the financial aid office decided to start the $avvy program last year.

“We found that students want to learn more about personal finance but had obstacles that prevented access to this information, such as a limited number of available courses or space within students’ schedules,” Quire said. “$avvy is … intended to make resources available to all students without those limits.”

Students will learn the basics of different financial literacy topics and ways to apply it to their own personal expenses and financial concerns, Quire said.

He said the program is run through a variety of activities and that there will be presentations, guest speakers, tabling events, question and answer sessions, demonstrations and interactive activities, as well as providing free access to financial tools through an online resource called CashCourse, which features courses, quizzes and interactive worksheets.

$avvy features a theme for each month, including budgeting, credit, saving, investing and financial aid, Quire said. There will be events every month, along with CashCourse assignments that are completely voluntary and do not take up too much time, Quire said.

“Though we do not require a minimum score for completion, a student’s quiz or test results will give them an idea of what they know about the topics,” Quire said. “The assignments are self-paced, so students can work through the assignments comfortably and as many times as they please.”

Quire said the program is still changing and adapting to fit the needs of students.

“Since this is the program’s first year, we do not have a typical seminar or workshop format yet,” Quire said. “We plan on delivering the information in a variety of ways to keep the program engaging. We hope to expand to more interactive events, such as scavenger hunts, as well as collaborate with other departments and groups on campus.”

Quire said the program is beneficial to the Saint Mary’s community by enhancing the learning experience outside of the classroom.

“Personal finance management is something that everyone encounters on a daily basis,” Quire said. “Students will have the opportunity to build these practical skills now and prepare themselves for life after college.”

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About Nicole Caratas

Nicole is a senior English Writing and Humanistic Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. Now a senior news writer, she previously served as the Saint Mary's Editor. She was born in real Chicago but grew up in the suburbs, and she currently lives in Opus Hall.

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  • TeacherGal

    Being financially literate in the 21st century is far more than
    understanding how to balance a checking account or compare credit card
    rates. In this complex and increasingly globalized world, financial
    literacy requires knowledge about global commerce, business, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

    According to The 21st Century Student’s Guide to Financial Literacy (c21 Student Resources) a quality financial literacy program must include topics such as the rise of capitalism, currency, venture capital, startups, intellectual property, securities and stock markets, wealth disparity, and global free trade agreements. Students should have a basic knowledge of the roles of such powerful institutions as the SEC, USPTO, Federal Reserve Bank, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization, G7, G20, and Eurozone and much more. Expanding a fin lit program beyond consumer finance further addresses the needs of students who must be able to compete in a global workplace upon graduation.