This episode of In The Know features conversation with Veena Jayadeva, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Guardian Life Insurance, Hannah Gregory from Capital Community College in Connecticut, and Allison Beer and Jacob Bray from ACCT. Our discussion focuses on ACCT's most recent report, Bridging Financial Wellness And Student Success: Effective Models for Community College.
Major takeaways from the report include:
- Community college students’ expenses often exceed available grant aid. Community college tuition is known for being relatively affordable; however, the cost of tuition and living expenses is typically greater than the amount of their available resources and grant aid. Sufficient federal and state financial aid resources are necessary to meet students’ financial needs. Colleges can also support students with financial aid interventions such as emergency grant aid, institutional balance forgiveness, and improved financial aid information.
- Financial education can be critical for students as they navigate the complex nature of college financing and personal expenses; however, education about finances is not a replacement for financial aid resources. Financial education combined with sufficient aid can help empower students to make complex financial decisions associated with attending college. To provide relevant financial education, community colleges must consider the varied skill sets and knowledge held by their students.
- This report highlights the Guardian Money Management for Life Program as a financial empowerment model for community colleges. Among students who participated in the course from 2015 to 2019, 75% report having a better understanding of personal financial management. Recognizing that when students’ basic financial needs are met, they are more likely to succeed academically, several Guardian Life partner colleges have evolved the personal finance course to a holistic financial wellness model. Notably, these colleges are moving toward developing or expanding one-stop financial empowerment centers where students receive resources for financial education, aid, and career development.
This report was made possible by a grant from Guardian.
If you want to check out the full report, it’s available on our website, acct.org, under the publications tab.
Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next time.