Let the Student Money Management Center show you how to get in -- and stay in -- the green
Tough economic times mean added challenges for everyone, including college students. But UNT's Student Money Management Center can help you navigate the obstacles of your financial life by teaching you the skills you need to help you succeed – skills that will bring you through times of adversity and times of prosperity.
Core money management skills
The Student Money Management Center starts by teaching you four basic core money management skills:
- setting and reaching goals
- debt management
- the budget process
"Financial independence doesn't just happen overnight," says center director Paul Goebel. "It's the result of demonstrating financial responsibility through learned behaviors. That's why all students need to learn, strengthen, and apply strong money management skills in their lives."
Teaching these skills forms the backbone for all of the center's services.
Student Money Management Center services
- One on one personal consultations
- Workshops, seminars and clinics covering topics that are relevant to students
- In the Green cash course – an online resource for personal finance and money management – made available through a partnership with the National Endowment for Financial Education
- 2 short-term loan programs, the Memorial Loan and the Green Loan, which help students cover unexpected expenses that threaten their UNT enrollment.
- Downloadable materials including a Financial Goals Worksheet, a Budget and Tracking Worksheet, Personal Financial Situation Assessment worksheet and several checklists.
Since the center began in the fall of 2005, about 8,000 UNT students annually seek out the center's services. Each semester, students pay a Student Services Fee, and a portion of that fee is used to fund the Student Money Management Center.
"Based upon an enrollment of 33,000 students, each student's annual contribution from his or her Student Services Fee is just $6.60," says Goebel. "We're always asking anyone that we meet in our workshops, in our fairs, in our consultations, did they get $6.60 worth from this meeting? Did we maximize your investment?"
Student to Student Success program
One of the center's new initiatives is its Student to Student Success (S2S) program, which harnesses the power of mentorship to help students learn from the experiences of their peers.
"Our S2S mentors are students who have sort of been there, done that and have learned from their financial experiences," Goebel says. "They are ready and have a passion to share those life experiences with others, their peers."
S2S mentors co-facilitate workshops and lead PEER (Planning, Engaging, Educating and Reviewing) sessions which teach the core money management skills all students need to apply to their financial lives.
A unique program
Though several universities across the country have money management programs that assist students, most are operated through a university's academic affairs division or through its business disciplines. The fact that UNT's program is a part of the Student Development Division sets it apart from other programs. In fact, when the center began on Oct. 1, 2005, Goebel says that because there were few similar programs, the center was given a blank canvas upon which to create a one-of-a-kind program. But, he says, what really sets the program apart and makes it a success is its goal to be wholly student centered.
"When we created this program, I went out and spoke with students and asked them what they wanted, what their needs were, what their concerns were, and out of that came the foundation upon which we built the center."