April 22, 2024

UT’s Financial Literacy Club fills gaps in personal finance education – The Daily Texan

As a sophomore in high school watching the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, finance sophomore Frankie Rose spent time watching the news with her parents, seeing stories about low financial literacy in the United States and its impact on students. In response, banding together with students from her New York high school, she founded the national nonprofit Financial Literacy Club.

Seeing a need in the student population after becoming a Longhorn, Rose decided to expand the Financial Literacy Club to serve the UT community. Becoming an official organization last fall, and having expanded to Cornell, Emory, Loyola Marymount and Brown, the club currently works to increase student knowledge of personal finance through workshops, webinars and interactive programs.

“I thought about my own personal experience,” Rose said. “I never was taught any kind of personal finance in high school and my high school didn’t offer any course like that.”

Unsure whether to continue targeting local high schools or focus on UT, Rose said once she became a Longhorn, she surveyed more than 1500 UT students, finding that more than 96% of respondents were interested in increasing their personal finance education, while less than 50% agreed that they had the resources on campus to do so.

“The research shows it’s a stark reality that there are not enough financial literacy resources at UT,” Rose said.

Rose said in addition to hosting workshops, the club advocates for more financial literacy education resources provided by UT, ranging from a required personal finance curriculum to a financial literacy center.

“Our goal is to not only educate, but also advocate for (financial literacy) on a larger scale and get the funding, backing, support (and) resources through UT to be able to do that,” Rose said.

The club’s advisor, adjunct economics professor Bruce Pflug, currently teaches one of the few financial literacy classes available to students.

“The club is much more expansive than the class that I teach,” Pflug said. “It has students from any discipline you could imagine.”

The club’s assistant vice president Kiki Jain said members range in majors from radio-television-film to philosophy, all learning about five main topics: budgeting, bank accounts, loans, taxes and insurance.

“As a college student, you have a lot more finances than you may even think about,” said Jain, a finance sophomore. “Being able to implement common budgeting practices or learning how to invest your money (will) … benefit you now and in the future.”

Rose said that by providing personal finance education for all, the club addresses inequities among students disproportionately affected by the lack of financial literacy education in their communities.

“By providing these resources, we’re breaking the cycle of parents who might not know much and are not able to share that information with their kids,” Rose said.

Jain, also a founding member of UT’s chapter, said the club hosts guest speakers in addition to providing educational workshops, having been invited to present at several residential buildings in West Campus.

“It’s important to spread that awareness among your peers,” Jain said. “Spread any knowledge that you have, … so that you can be a part of that movement, a part of that change.”

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