3 Key Factors to Successful Financial Literacy Peer Mentor Programs

Posted April 11, 2016 by Raven Newberry

Including students in your planning process can help spark new ideas and increase campus engagement. Students know what other students want. CashCourse has written about ways of involving students with financial education before, and one of these strategies is using a peer mentor program.  

Peer mentor programs require careful planning and maintenance, but the payoff in successful programming can be more than worth it. Consider these factors when planning your financial literacy peer mentor programs.

1. Training
Your students will likely need some sort of training in financial education. Consider what their main tasks will be when planning this training. Will they be presenting workshops? Providing basic level financial education counseling to peers? Planning programming? Adjust your training accordingly. Make sure they are knowledgeable on the needed topics and know where they can find more information. Don’t forget: all of CashCourse’s content is free and noncommercial. 

2. Recruitment
Working with motivated students is a lot easier than coaching disinterested ones. Start your recruitment in places where students are likely already interested in personal finance. Reach out to your business school or local FBLA chapter. These students have an existing knowledge of the topic and might be interested in expanding their résumés in the field. You can also consider student organizations that have a vested interest in financial education, like student government or Greek chapters. These might be a good source for motivated students.

3. Autonomy
Make sure your peer mentor program gives back to students as much as they are putting in. Let students lead and plan. Allowing autonomy ensures your students can work creatively and gives them some ownership of the program. Make this an extracurricular that they will be proud to highlight in future job interviews.  Recruiting and training students properly is key in making this component work.

Trying to find a starting place for your financial education program? Check out our Campus Planning Workbook.  This guide covers tips on planning, marketing and implementing financial education programs.

Want to read about schools that have run successful financial literacy peer mentor programs? Check out the CashCourse success stories on University of North Texas and University of Wyoming.