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CashCourse Across the USA

University of Akron

The University of Akron: Financial Literacy and the First Year Student

The University of Akron was selected as a recipient for the 2014 fall cycle of the CashCourse Reimbursement Program. The applicant, Tanya Lundy, is based out of the school’s student financial aid department. Her campaign partnered the financial aid office with the University of Akron's first year experience program.

'Our campaign was based out of the Akron Experience program, a course for first year students. The Akron Experience is designed to promote student success and features one of the classes focusing on financial literacy. The 2014-15 academic year will mark the first full year we’ve included a financial literacy component,' Lundy explains.

Lundy guest-taught one personal finance workshop for each of the Akron Experience classes. After her presentation on how to use CashCourse, students were encouraged to complete the Budgeting Basics and Paying Back Student Loans coursework.

'After the workshop, we incentivized the students by offering a raffle admission for any student who scored at least 80%,' says Lundy. 'The prizes included several gift cards and a grand prize of an iPad mini.'

These incentives clearly worked, as the university's CashCourse site had nearly 12,496 page views during the fall semester. As for in-person engagement, Lundy was able to reach nearly 1,900 first-year students through her workshops via the Akron Experience course.

By embedding her personal finance campaign in a course that already reached a large number of students, the workshops generated high levels of student engagement. CashCourse provided an invaluable part of this financial literacy outreach and the Reimbursement Program funds helped incentivize students to engage with the online site.

'The topics are easy to understand and it helps that it is written in simple terms,' Lundy explains. 'CashCourse is a useful tool for reaching the student that carries high debt and to help as a default management strategy for schools.'

February 2015