Summer Bridge Programs: An Opportunity for Financial Literacy

Posted June 7, 2016 by Raven Newberry

Summer Bridge programs are a great way to prevent “summer melt” and get incoming students prepared to start their first year. Students are about to make some big financial decisions as they begin college, and the timing of summer bridge programs makes them a prime opportunity to talk about money.

Interested in incorporating financial literacy in your Summer Bridge program? CashCourse recommends on emphasizing the following topics to maximize effectiveness.

  • Loans
  • Summer Bridge students might be facing the decision on taking out loans for the first time or deciding how many loans to accept. It is critical for students to know the different types of loans, the repayment process and how interest works. Use the CashCourse “Paying Back Student Loans” coursework module and the “Federal Student Loan Programs 101” article to guide the conversation. Give them the “Loan Comparison” worksheet for future reference.

  • Filling out the FAFSA is a yearly process essential to students in securing their financial aid packages. Help students feel comfortable and knowledgeable in filling out the FAFSA by covering the basics. CashCourse has several great articles on the FAFSA including this overview  and a piece on how the federal government defines “financial need”. 

  • Budgeting
  • Day-to-day money management is essential to financial empowerment. Equip your students with the skills needed for them to stay on top of their spending and that their money is going towards their money goals. CashCourse has a coursework module, worksheets, and videos that cover this topic.

Only have time for a workshop on financial education? Check out our helpful tips on how to run a successful session.  Summer Bridge might also be a good opportunity for student leaders to teach financial education. Learn how to incorporate students into your financial literacy programming here.