Linn-Benton Community College

Elaine Robinson was searching for a budgeting tool for students, when she saw a flyer about CashCourse. As an assistant director at Linn-Benton Community College's financial aid office, she thought it would be a valuable addition to the school's website, and registered her institution for CashCourse. Since 2012, Linn-Benton Community College has been using CashCourse as an integral part of their default management and graduation strategy.

"We flag students who are carrying high debt and have them complete the Budget Wizard and use CashCourse to learn how to save money," explains Robinson. "Many students have expressed that they really like learning about saving."

The Budget Wizard tool is a big component of Linn-Benton's default management strategy. Their targeted approach ensures that students who will face the biggest loan debt are getting personal finance skills while still in school. They also reach students through their first year program, Destination Graduation.

"Destination Graduation was built by [the] enrollment management [department] to help students do their best in their first year," says Robinson. "They've built CashCourse into their coursework, which happens every term."

Destination Graduation is a one-credit course that sets first-year students up for college success. The five-week class focuses on getting familiar with campus resources, establishing a relationship with their advisor and developing an education plan. Financial literacy is a crucial component in helping students navigate their way successfully through college.

CashCourse is a flexible tool that can be used for many purposes, and Linn-Benton Community College's efforts show that the program can successfully be used in different ways, even on the same campus.

"I think that all schools should look at CashCourse to put out there as a budget management tool,” Robinson says. “It is a great tool being offered for free. It has been absolutely crucial to our debt management strategy."

January 2015