Financial Literacy Month offers life-long lessons

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | April 13, 2012

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Signs, speakers and free information help bring financial literacy into focus for the campus community. Photo by Kimber Williams.

Signs sprouting around the Emory campus this month promoting financial literacy aren't aimed only at debt-laden students and soon-to-graduate seniors — the message is universal.

"Financial literacy is everybody's business," says Maria Carthon, assistant director in the Office of Financial Aid, "and it affects so many aspects of our lives."

For today's college students, borrowing money now can have a significant impact on the future — studies prove that a college education opens doors and boosts paychecks. But with credit card companies recruiting high school seniors, many college students hit campus already piling up debt, says Carthon.

How we choose to manage our money can play a major role in career choices and opportunities. Handle your finances prudently, and you create a level of freedom. Ignore financial responsibility and you create limits — outcomes that can linger for years, she adds.

"Financial literacy is not just about students who take out loans, it's bigger than that," she says. "We want to make sure they are in a position to pursue whatever career they want, to pursue their passion not limited by their finances."

In recognition of National Financial Literacy Month, the financial aid office has scheduled a series of April events to raise campus awareness around making informed financial decisions:

Wonderful Wednesdays: This month, Peer Financial Counselors will distribute financial literacy brochures and answer questions at the weekly celebration at Asbury Circle.

"Financial Aid/Financial Services Q&A," a presentation featuring John Sisk, assistant director of admissions; Delicia Lucky and Jennifer Lyles, financial aid advisers; Elizabeth Barrett, student financial services representative; and Maria Carthon. Tuesday, April 17, 2-3 p.m., Cox Hall.

Information table with peer financial counselors. Friday, April 20, noon to 3 p.m., Boisfeuillet Jones Center patio.

"Generational Changes of Retirement Planning," a presentation by Eric Hoffman, Primerica regional vice president. Tuesday, April 24, 6 p.m., Goizueta Business School.

All events are free and open to the entire campus community.


Student art exhibit

Flying Cheap by Charlotte Watts

Photo by Charlotte Watts.

In addition, the Office of Financial Aid is celebrating student talent by featuring a photo exhibit by Charlotte "Charlie" Watts, a senior in visual arts, founder of the Emory Arts Club and current president of the STIPE Society of Creative Scholars. Watts' work has been featured in MINT, the online financial literacy newsletter produced by Emory students. Her photos will be displayed on the third floor of the Boisfeuillet Jones Center this month.