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Banking executives on student financial literacy

University Business, October 2018

In your experience, how are higher ed institutions doing in their efforts to teach students to be responsible about their finances while in school and in future stages of life? Is there a particular area you believe needs to be covered more?

“Higher education institutions provide extensive assistance to both prospective and current students relating to the true costs of attending college. However, there is less agreement on the success (or even the appropriate role) of higher education institutions in preparing their students with financial literacy for life away from campus. The challenge is making sure that students and graduates take advantage of financial literacy educational opportunities so that they make fully informed decisions at all stages of life.”

John Lenckos, senior vice president of global commercial banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch


LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Banking on literacy in high ed


“Many institutions regularly provide live seminars and workshops for students on campus. Financial aid and business offices often distribute financial literacy resources to their students both in physical form and online. We even see some institutions requiring all new students to pass a financial literacy course as a part of orientation. The main challenge institutions face is that different students learn in different ways, and navigating these needs requires a multi-channel and multi-medium approach to get the widest penetration.”

Andrew Crawford, chief commercial officer, BankMobile

“Many institutions offer basic financial education resources to their student population, and there is definitely a need for it. Budgeting and emergency savings are areas that many students are not well-versed in when they become independent, which often causes them to struggle financially early in life.”

—Candice Cambridge, head of community development service strategy, TD Bank

“In the absence of understanding the importance of budgeting, savings, credit scores and other foundational financial knowledge, students are more likely to sacrifice their future to pay for higher education. In order to create more positive financial outcomes for students, financial aid offerings need to be coupled with financial education.”

—Neal Richardson, financial education strategy manager, U.S. Bank

“Many of the colleges and universities that Wells Fargo partners with have identified the importance of increasing their students’ general financial wellness, and have taken active steps to deliver this valuable information through a variety of initiatives. Giving students access to the broadest range of tools and resources to gain financial knowledge and skills is a winning strategy for colleges and universities to encourage their students’ growth and future success beyond the walls of their institution.”

—Leticia Turnbull-Mason, product management manager, Wells Fargo


Heather Kerrigan is an Ohio-based writer who has written extensively on financial aid.