WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 1,000 Dreams Fund (1DF), the national non-profit that provides micro-grants to young women in the U.S., with the support of Charles Schwab, today welcomes over 100 students in six cities across the country to learn the in's and out's of college finances. Featuring guest speaker and millennial money expert Stefanie O'Connell in the Charles Schwab branch office in St. Louis, Mo., the workshop is being live-streamed to college bound students in Orange County, Ca., Miami, Fla., Omaha, Ne., Kansas City, Mo., and Houston, Tx.
The ability for families to finance college remains a big barrier to many students successfully obtaining degrees. On average, an American family with a student in college today faces an annual bill of more than $23,0001. Yet, less than 2 in 5 families have a plan for how to cover those costs1. In 2018 U.S. student loan debt topped $1.5 trillion2.
To help students get ahead of the curve, 1DF and Charles Schwab teamed up to launch the "College Finances: 101" Workshop. This live, interactive workshop will feature budgeting advice, tips and a Q&A, led by O'Connell, and is being offered exclusively to students participating in 1DF's Project: Girls On the Rise and college-bound students affiliated with local non-profits like the Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters in participating cities.
"It is no secret that the biggest barrier to college access and success that most students - especially those in need - face is financial," said Christie Garton, 1,000 Dreams Fund Founder and CEO. "Through this workshop, our goal is to empower students with information in a fun and accessible way and help them get a financial game plan in place well in advance. We don't want them to only go to college and graduate but also to thrive while there."
"At Charles Schwab, our goal is to help our clients build strong financial futures," said Scott Miller, Charles Schwab Branch Manager in Clayton, Mo. and host of the event. "A college degree is one of the largest investments many individuals and families will ever make, so preparation and knowledge is paramount. With this workshop and our support of the 1,000 Dreams Fund, we aim to provide students with the information they need to make better financial decisions, ensuring their well-being long after college graduation."
The workshop builds on the work that 1DF and Charles Schwab did last fall to begin an important dialogue on the hidden costs of college and how they uniquely impact students today. The 1,000 Dreams Fund's 2017 Hidden Costs of College Report and national survey, underwritten by Charles Schwab, found that more than half of female college students don't feel prepared to manage their college finances. Moreover, 52% of women polled who didn't finish college said they dropped out because of finances, as did 58% of first-generation college students who didn't finish college, underscoring the importance of providing students with financial literacy resources and training before they head to college.
Improving their financial literacy is of great interest to young people today, according to the recently released 2018 Schwab Young Adult Financial Literacy Survey from Charles Schwab. For 75% of Gen Zers (those born between 1998 and 2002) and Young Millennials (those born between 1993 and 1997), becoming financially independent is a top goal. Yet, many of these young adults are already more than $8,000 in-debt and lack understanding and effective strategies for mitigating their debt.
The 1,000 Dreams Fund offers a roster of scholarship and grant programs devised to fund, uplift and spotlight the inspiring dreams of high school, college and graduate-aged American women, especially those in need. Through its innovative programs with organizations like HARMAN Electronics, Twitch, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Charles Schwab, 1DF aims to support young women pursuing careers in underserved industries from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to sports/ eSports and more.
ABOUT 1,000 DREAMS FUND
The 1,000 Dreams Fund (1DF) is a national scholarship fund for American girls in high school and college. 1DF believes that big expenses should never stand in the way of big dreams. Since its launch in November 2015, over $100,000 in funding has been granted to talented young women in need, helping them pay for the "extras" in school like study abroad, tech devices for the classroom and travel to conferences and seminars. 1DF has been featured in NBCNews.com, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, Huffington Post, TODAY and more. To learn more about 1DF, visit http://1000dreamsfund.org/.
ABOUT CHARLES SCHWAB
At Charles Schwab, we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients' goals with passion and integrity. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com.