USA Funds Grants Support Student-to-Student Personal Finance Education

Funding will promote student financial literacy on 10 college campuses

Oct 04, 2011, 12:44 ET from USA Funds

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- USA Funds®, a nonprofit organization that helps American families benefit from postsecondary education, announces the award of grants totaling $250,000 to expand personal finance education delivered by college students to their classmates at 10 minority-serving institutions.

"Peer mentoring is an effective tool to enhance student financial literacy," said Carl C. Dalstrom, USA Funds president and CEO. "Students are most likely to seek out their peers for personal finance advice. By equipping students to answer their classmates' basic financial questions and to direct them to appropriate resources, these colleges and universities can accelerate the adoption of positive personal finance habits by their students."

The following 10 institutions will receive funding for peer financial education programs:

  • Dillard University (New Orleans).
  • New Jersey City University (Jersey City, N.J.).
  • Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Ark.).
  • Pueblo Community College (Pueblo, Colo.).
  • Savannah State University (Savannah, Ga.).
  • Sitting Bull College (Fort Yates, N.D.).
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (Albuquerque, N.M.).
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu).
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Princess Anne, Md.).
  • Valencia College (Orlando, Fla.).

The participating schools will use the grants to expand existing peer financial education programs or launch new programs. Funding will support the training of the staff coordinator for each campus program, training of the peer educators and evaluation of the program.

Based on a successful peer financial educator training program at Ohio State University, the USA Funds initiative will prepare the peer educators to be good listeners; provide their fellow students with basic financial advice, such as assisting them with budgeting; and direct students to additional resources when they need further assistance.

The participating schools will use USA Funds Life Skills® as a training tool for the peer educators. USA Funds Life Skills is an online curriculum that teaches students how to manage their finances and time, while they pursue their degrees and after graduation.

A financial literacy team at each campus will receive training and a guide that outlines the step-by-step process for training and evaluating the peer financial educators and coordinators. The team will select a coordinator who will be responsible for selecting, overseeing and evaluating the peer educators and for the development of appropriate resources for the peer educators. Coordinators and peer educators will collaborate on developing financial education strategies that will work best on their campus.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. For more information about USA Funds, visit