Financial Literacy for students

By By Jane Stringham

By Jane Stringham

To help increase women’s graduation rates, U faculty members created a subcommittee of Safe Passage, the peer mentoring program, several weeks ago.

Safe Passage members include Theresa Martinez, assistant vice president of the sociology department; Debra Daniels, director of the Women’s Resource Center; Kim Hall, WRC coordinator; and Karla Motta, associate vice president for enrollment management.

“The point of Safe Passages is to create community networks on campus, to sort of keep in touch with everyone on campus, so services aren’t duplicated,” said Motta, an academic adviser.

Hall said the subcommittee of Safe Passages will help recruit women and students of color into the science field to study why the U might have problems retaining women, students of color and underrepresented groups of students.

Because financial costs prevent many people from attending college, the group held a financial workshop Nov. 8.

Karen Henriquez, assistant director of financial aid, said that money is one of the biggest barriers that keeps students, including women and students of color, from coming to college. Henriquez said students often don’t know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid program, which they can use to apply for federal grants, loans, work-study aid, and most state and some private aid.

Motta said that students should “encourage their parents to organize their taxes as early as possible, be in contact with the office of financial aid and always have a backup plan.”

Henriquez conducted last week’s financial workshop where she talked about FAFSA, scholarships and personal statements. Students talked about the ways they attain and retain money for school.

Tyler Moss, a freshman in political science, said he budgets his time.

“I don’t take summer classes and work instead,” Moss said. “I try to apply for scholarships, too.”

In addition to the committee’s workshops, the WRC will host two “Make a Statement” workshops to help students write personal statements. The next workshop will take place Nov. 15 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the center, which is located on the fourth floor of the Union. The workshops are free and open to all U students.

“Remember, college is one of the few times in your life when it’s OK not to have a lot of money,” Hall said. “We’re just trying to give students the heads-up they deserve.”

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