The $404 million Generations Federal Credit Union in San Antonio has partnered with five local colleges to bring financial education classes to their campuses.
GFCU has identified a growing need for financial education among college students, citing a 2011 study by Experian that revealed San Antonio has the highest rate of credit card debt of any city in the U.S. and some of the lowest credit scores. What’s more, other research shows 81% of college students have underestimated by a large margin how long it will take to repay credit cards and other debt.
GFCU will teach dozens of financial education classes to hundreds of students at Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, St. Philip’s College, Northeast Lakeview College, and Northwest Vista College. The classes will include lessons in budgeting, money management, credit reports and paying back student loans, among other topics.
In partnership with each college’s financial aid office, students will be enrolled for a chance to win a weekly financial award for attending financial education classes throughout the month of April, which is National Financial Literacy Month. For example, the Palo Alto College Financial Aid Department is giving away 80 awards of $250 throughout the month for a total of $20,000.
“Between work, school and family, students lead very busy lives and often times their finances are not a high priority until it’s too late,” said David Rodriguez, GFCU financial education advocate. “By partnering with all the colleges and by offering an award, it encourages students to attend; and when they do, we can provide those messages of financial responsibility that will help them stay on a strong financial path.”
The credit union has recently received the National Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award. GFCU’s “No Suckers Here” program has been recognized for teaching students the importance and value of financial literacy in an engaging and entertaining environment. The credit union’s Student Life Team works with individual schools and administrators to determine the financial needs of their student body and then develops a financial education program tailored to those needs.