Lakeland University has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Bradley Foundation to help fund teaching financial basics to at-risk Lakeland students.
Financial Fitness for Life (FFL) will target at-risk students with a variety of financial literacy programs designed to help them make better financial decisions while they’re in school and throughout their lives.
“Young people must be able to make good financial choices as they take on college student loan debt, because it later impacts their ability to buy homes and vehicles, prepare budgets for themselves and their families and, eventually, make investment decisions for their futures,” said Scott Niederjohn, dean of Lakeland’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
“Many college students have easier access to credit, debt and educational loans, and they are taking on record amounts of debt to complete their education. Financial literacy is fundamental to the success of these students, especially low-income, first generation and minority college students, who research indicates lack these skills.”
The program will begin this academic year with a pilot group of up to 15 at-risk and first generation Lakeland students, who will participate in a series of monthly workshops on a variety of topics designed to significantly improve their financial literacy knowledge.
Students will also participate in two sessions of one-on-one financial counseling, and learn more about the free market economy and how young people can participate and prosper in it.
Participation in the program is voluntary for those students invited.
“This program has the potential to significantly improve the future trajectory of these students,” Niederjohn said. “We expect that students in the program will be more likely to remain in college as a result of their participation.
“We’re also going to educate these students about making better choices related to their current spending, credit and student loan decisions. Long term, we’re setting these students up for more fulfilling and prosperous post-graduation lives through economic and financial literacy knowledge.”
Participating students who complete 100 percent of the program’s activities and return to Lakeland as students in good standing for the fall 2017 semester will receive a $250 text book grant to the Lakeland bookstore.