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Films, forums highlight Financial Literacy Month

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | April 14, 2014

"Your Life, Your Money" will be the focus of a series of films and seminars offered throughout April in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month, designed to underscore the importance of financial literacy and healthy financial habits.

This is the third year that Emory will celebrate National Financial Literacy Month with activities aimed at both students and campus community members interested in strengthening their overall financial health and awareness, says Maria Carthon, assistant director in Emory's Office of Financial Aid.

The goal of Emory's Financial Literacy Program is to help Emory students improve their understanding of financial concepts and services so that they are empowered to make fully-informed choices to improve their current and long-term financial well-being, according to Carthon.

Throughout the month, Emory's Peer Financial Counselors will be working to highlight financial literacy and promote the importance of sound financial habits — important skills to carry throughout life, Carthon notes.

"We're trying a few new things this year, such as a financial film series, and also sticking with some of the established events we've always done, including a series of free student loan management presentations," she says.

"Your Life, Your Money with Loans," a student loan management series, will feature guest speakers from Sallie Mae Inc., Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Informational sessions hosted by an assortment of Emory schools will be offered:

  • April 16

Laney Graduate School — 8 a.m. in the Woodruff Library, room w217

Emory School of Law — noon in Tull Auditorium

  • April 21

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing — 11 a.m. in room 201.

  • April 22

Candler School of Theology — 11:45 a.m. in the Rita Ann Rollins building, room 322

  • April 23

Rollins School of Public Health — noon in the Grace Crum Rollins building, 8th floor, Rita Ann Rollins Room

"The focus of these seminars will be on how to successfully manage debt, so that loan repayment becomes part of your normal monthly budget," Carthon says.

"Students don't always know there are many loan repayment options available to

them – sometimes based upon their income. We want to make sure they're aware of them all in order to make wise decisions about how to tackle debt."

Over the years, Emory has maintained a consistently low student loan default rate, currently 1.7 percent, compared to a national average of 10 percent, she notes.

"But it really only takes someone becoming unemployed or experiencing a major life crisis that can make a difference in repaying student loan," Carthon adds. "We want to make sure Emory students can still fulfill the dreams of their employment – we don't want student loans to get in the way."

Other April activities include "Your Life, Your Money: Behind the Scenes," a personal finance film series featuring three films intended to provoke discussion and dialogue about various aspects of financial literacy. They include "Inside Job" (2010); "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006); and "Wall Street" (1987).

Each film will be shown in the Harland Cinema, located in Dobbs University Center (DUC) on the last three Tuesdays of the month, starting April 15. Admission is free and cinema snacks — popcorn, pizza, soda and candy — will be provided. Public discussions about related financial issues will follow each screening.

For more information about events or to learn more about financial literacy, visit the Office of Financial Aid's Financial Literacy page.