Brescia University

Brescia University is a small liberal arts college with big results in financial literacy. The Student Support Services Director, Dolores Kiesler, applied to CashCourse's Reimbursement Program for the spring 2014 cycle. Brescia was selected as a reimbursement recipient, and Kiesler got to work. Her efforts led to nearly 30 percent of the student population creating CashCourse accounts.

'My three pieces of advice to schools using CashCourse are: Keep your program active; do the leg work before implementing; and make it as quick and easy as possible for students to discover it,' says Kiesler.

Her semester-long programming put that advice into practice. Kiesler was mindful of busy schedules and tried to make it as easy as possible for anyone to incorporate CashCourse into their classroom. She sent out ideas to faculty tailored to their subjects.

'For our English teachers, I provided a short story that served as a starting point for a discussion on financial values and how much someone really needs,' Kiesler explains. 'For the First Year Experience directors, I showed them the modules and added them to the account as administrators.'

Kiesler also sent out a weekly quiz to students on Brescia's 'Financial Friday.' She created her own five-question quizzes from CashCourse's online scavenger hunt. Students would get a raffle submission every time they completed a quiz. Kiesler was deliberate in keeping the Financial Friday quizzes short.

'Update your program each week and keep it small and manageable,' Kiesler says. 'Once students discovered CashCourse, they became the best form of advertisement through word of mouth.'

Kiesler's work resulted in a successful semester-long financial literacy campaign. Her work ethic was powered by the knowledge of how critical it is for college students to be financially empowered.

'Financial literacy is particularly important to college students for two reasons. For the first time, many of them have no financial supervision. They need to learn how to manage their finances and live within their means. Second, students need to understand what it means to take out a student loan and the implications of having it in their name,' explains Kiesler.

CashCourse has been a huge help to Kiesler in her work with financial literacy. She finds the breadth of CashCourse topics particularly useful.

'I initially selected CashCourse because it is free, customizable, and because we could provide a link to the page,' Kiesler says. 'I kept using it because of the wide range of resources CashCourse provides—from basic budgeting to job benefits. It is useful for our freshman and for our nontraditional students.'

Kiesler found that students connected with the resources that made the biggest impact on their immediate lives.

'One student even contacted me to explain that the CashCourse resources helped her and her husband see that they could actually retire,' she recalls. 'This was very meaningful as it really hit their lives personally and made a lasting impact. That's my victory story!'

August 2014