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MONEY 101 UWG

2017-2018 ANNUAL REPORT

BUILDING FINANCIAL LITERACY EDUCATION, COMMUNITY, AND


LIFELONG SKILLS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA

THE LAST YEAR AT-A-GLANCE

1745+ DEBT
LETTERS
SENT TO
STUDENT
STUDENTS
& STAFF BORROWERS

4980
SERVED

WORKSHOPS

5
HELD

20 MEMBERS OF
#MONEYTALKS
3 CONFERENCE
PRESENTATIONS
2 REGIONAL
1 NATIONAL
ABOUT MONEY 101
Money 101 
University of West Georgia

MISSION
We believe all UWG students have the capacity to lead financially self-sufficient lives, and we aim to

prepare our students for their future through financial literacy education. We believe the most effective

financial literacy education is grounded in the student's personal goals, professional future, and position as a

member of their community. Money 101 is an initiative from the Office of Financial Aid at UWG, and is run

by Kendall McCamy, senior financial aid advisor, and Erica Lee, graduate assistant for financial literacy. 

FOUNDATION
STUDENT AFFAIRS AND ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIC PLAN 
Priority 1, Strategy 3: Identify and Decrease Barriers to Student Success
It is key that SAEM work to identify the typical barriers that a student may face, as well as identifying
individual and group risk factors based on the data. From these efforts, the Division will use this knowledge
about students and student groups to guide programming, activities, services, and outreach efforts.

Priority 2, Strategy 3: Facilitate Financial Access, Literacy, and Clarity


We will endeavor to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding policies and procedures
for receiving financial assistance so that our students can make an informed decision regarding the financing
of their education. 

Priority 3, Strategy 2: Equip Students with Essential and Life Skills


In support of the academic mission, the Division will provide students the opportunities, resources, and
support to thrive in their current and future endeavors in order to support the Institutional Strategic Initiative
of Student Success and enhance our students' future achievement. 

PRINCIPLES, THEORIES, AND MODELS


Kolb's Model of Experiential Learning CONCRETE EXPERIENCE
(doing/having an
LEAP Principles of Excellence
experience)
Transtheoretical Model of Change ACTIVE REFLECTIVE
EXPERIMENTATION OBSERVATION
Bronfrenbrenner's Ecological Theory
(planning/trying out (reviewing/reflecting
Baxter-Magolda's Theory of Self-Authorship what you have learned) on the experience)

ABSTRACT
CONCEPTUALIZATION
(concluding/learning
from the experience)
KOLB (1984)
BENCHMARKS
We use two metrics to measure the level of financial literacy in our students. The first metric is knowledge,

and the second, more challenging metric is behavioral change. We incorporate the transtheoretical model of

change into our programming for this purpose: even if students know the "right" answers, the most important

outcome is their incorporation of these principles into their everyday lives. 

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CONTEXT
Money 101 
University of West Georgia

OUR STUDENTS
Through Money 101, we have the unique privilege seeing our students in various roles. Our
financial literacy education incorporates these roles, making our programming personable
and memorable. The most common roles we see students embody are students as scholars, 
as personal financial managers, and as borrowers. 

Students as Scholars
First and foremost, our students are scholars widening their understanding of the world as well as
preparing for entrance into the workforce. We design our presentations and programming to help our
students visualize the connections between school, work, and life. 

Students as Personal Financial Managers


Students are more knowledgeable about financial products with which they are familiar, like auto
insurance or apartment leases (Chen& Volpe, 1998). We use this previous knowledge as scaffolding
to create our programming so that students can use their previous knowledge to contemplate unfamiliar
topics, and for students to reflect on their current financial management.

Students as Borrowers
While loans are often used to finance the cost of higher education, few students describe specific features
of these loans (Perna, 2007). Our interactions with students show similar results: students are often
confused about their loans, but after our programs they are eager to take ownership of their student loans,
plan for repayment, and minimize future borrowing. 

PEER AND ASPIRANT INSTITUTIONS


The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has designated these institutions as those similar to UWG, as well

as those institutions we aspire to emulate. We feature them in this document because we see the benefits and

outcomes of their practices related to financial literacy, which is especially poignant for institutions with

similar demographics and goals. 

PEER
SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY (SHSU)
COHORT DEFAULT RATE (CDR) %
Sam Houston State University employs many financial literacy
2012   2013    2014    2015
activities and opportunities for engagement with their students
UWG 8.8       7.9       8.9        8.6
through their division of student affairs, beginning primarily in the

2007-2008 academic year. These initiatives include one-on-one SHSU 8.6       8.0       5.8
consultations, workshops, presence in their introduction to
IUP 8.8       7.7       7.3
collegiate studies UNIV 1301 class, and fun events like a budgeting

bingo game, and a giant Game of Life held each semester. 

INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA (IUP) ASPIRANT

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has financial literacy education housed in their Office of Financial Aid,

as well as resources to better understanding their student loans, repayment, debt management, budgeting, and

overall money management. 

UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA INITIATIVES


To our knowledge, there are no current SAEM-driven financial literacy education initiatives at

USG comprehensive sector institutions, which makes UWG a leader in innovation for student

engagement statewide. Other USG institutions, including the University of North Georgia and

the University of Georgia, have financial literacy initiatives housed within and outside of

SAEM, like UGA's "Financial Literacy on the Lawn" event hosted by the ASPIRE clinic.

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METHODS PROGRAMMING Money 101 
University of West Georgia

PRESENTATIONS & WORKSHOPS


Presentation Bank:

Budgeting Workshop: The "Katie" Presentation The Facts about Loan Forgiveness

Budgeting Workshop: Our Budgeting Buddies Using Credit for Your Financial Goals

Student Loan Repayment Presentation How to Dress for Success on a Budget

Apps for Money Management

Our most popular presentations were the "Katie" Budgeting Workshop and the Student Loan Repayment

Presentation. These were most often requested by both instructors and student groups.

SPOTLIGHT: MEET KATIE!


Our "Katie" Budgeting Presentation incorporated Kolb's model of experiential learning and the

transtheroetical model of change in a fun, strengths-based group activity. Recognizing that students already

have budgeting knowledge gave them agency and the opportunity to visualize change in their own lives. 

Participants are introduced to Katie, a fictional fellow student who is excited to graduate but


worries about her student loans. They reviewed Katie's spending for the last month and
discussed how Katie should best balance her spending and saving for her upcoming move,
starting her career, and beginning repayment on her student loans. We discussed Katie's needs
and goals, and participants use this framework to create her new budget. This approach values
their inherent strengths, skills, and ability to weigh unclear outcomes. 

After the participants created a new budget for Katie and choose her loan repayment plan, we
discuss as a group the reasons behind their choices. We also discussed what
methods Katie could use to keep to her new budgets, like asking a friend to hold her
accountable, and how they can apply these concepts to their own lives. 

WHAT ARE OUR STUDENTS SAYING?


"Credit is important."
"Learning about loan repayment really helped me."
"I want to thank my parents." "I will make sure to keep track of my loans."

"It's good to keep up your awareness and attitude about spending money."

"I will get a start on paying off my loan." "To save more, put a name to each dollar."

PRESENTATION ASSESSMENT
Our surveys before and after our presentations measure our students' confidence for common financial
literacy metrics like writing out a spending plan, keeping track of spending and income, paying bills on time
each month, saving money regularly, and spending less than they earn. We used feedback to change our
lecture-style presentations to interactive workshops, which resulted in higher information retention and
engagement. 

After our presentations, confidence increased overall. The most dramatic increases include:

Connect with
Make a Save money Plan for the financial literacy
budget regularly future resources on
campus 
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METHODS PROGRAMMING Money 101 
University of West Georgia

MONEY TALKS

Our student group, Money Talks, was a unique opportunity borne out of students expressing

excitement about financial literacy. Our five students embodied a diverse range of class

standings (sophomore to senior), majors, personalities, career goals, and backgrounds. 

Building Wealth
Our graduate assistant Erica Lee led our students through Building Wealth, a free financial literacy
workbook that covers budgeting, credit, debt, saving, and the often-confusing language around personal
finance. Our students also asked for additional information on subjects outside of the workbook's scope
like taxes, and we discussed what wealth personally means to them. 

Impact
The impact of Money Talks is best described by Jean (name changed), one of our members. Elena is
heavily involved on campus, and she is a kind and caring person excited to learn more about personal
finance to help her future career. She sees financial wellness as crucial to the work she wants to do as a
counselor. 

"I like that you've taught us the basics of financial management," she told our graduate
assistant. "I like the community; we're all struggling with the same stuff. I think it's cool
that this is a universal need, and I can tie it to my career and my major." 

Jean has also made behavioral changes since she has become part of MoneyTalks. "I'm
really glad I learned more about how loans work! I've started doing payment plans
instead of taking out more loans for tuition."

"I especially want to start making payments while I'm in school so I can get a head
start. I also now check my bank statement daily to monitor my spending and manage
my financial goals. I'm also much more mindful of spending. I'd recommend that
anyone join Money Talks! It's awesome!"

CONFERENCES
We are excited to share our experiences and contribute to a culture of financial literacy regionally and

nationally. In fall, 2017 Kendall presented on the biggest college money myths to SAACURH, a regional

undergraduate conference of student leaders. Kendall has also presented on building campus partnerships

and connecting with students through story at the Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit (HEFWA) in

summer, 2017 and 2018, respectively. Kendall and Erica co-presented on connecting with students through

story at the University of North Georgia's annual Financial Literacy Drive-In in late spring 2018.

EVENTS
In addition to hosting a financial literacy table at larger events like the Wellness Expo and Graduation Fair,

we also attend classes, present for student groups, and present to student SAEM offices like the Center for

Academic Success and Career Services. 

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METHODS ASSESSMENT Money 101 
University of West Georgia

COHORT DEFAULT RATE


A school’s cohort default rate is the percentage of the school’s borrowers who

enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loans (FFELs) and/or

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (Direct Loans) during that fiscal year

and default within the cohort default period.

The Department of Education’s official cohort default rate calculation for all schools is public record. The

default rate is widely considered one of the most important, authoritative measurements for assessing the

robustness of an institution’s aid administration methodology, effectiveness of institutional financial

literacy/wellness initiatives, and follow-through of stated educational outcomes.

DEFAULTER PROFILE STUDY


Money 101 will begin publishing an annual Defaulter Profile Study in the 2018-19 academic year after the

Department of Education’s release of the official FY2015 Cohort Default Rate in fall 2018. Nearly two years

of research, reporting, and UWG student assessment will have gone into the creation of the study prior to its

release. The report will be re-released annually with each new year’s cohort included.

In accordance with SAEM Priority 1, Strategy 3, the purpose of the Defaulter Profile Study is to develop a

profile of each year’s federal student loan defaulter population by identifying enrollment, progression,

borrowing, and academic performance themes. 

Each cohort of students will be evaluated on no fewer than eleven key data points:

Date of birth

Length of time between each student’s loan period start date and repayment start date

Grade level for the period in which the defaulted loan was borrowed

Institutional GPA

Institutional earned hours

Institutional pace of progression

The percentage of each year’s cohort that graduated prior to the end of the cohort year

Each student’s total UWG federal student loan debt (minus origination fees)

Expected Family Contribution

Degree program

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status

This study aims to address the following areas:

Assessing how these enrollment, progression, borrowing, and academic performance themes may predict

future default risk

Developing, implementing, evaluating, and refining a comprehensive default prevention strategy at the

institutional level

Enhancing awareness of default risks and default management efforts across the university community to

faculty, staff, and students

Promoting a shared responsibility across the university for the financial well-being of our students

Ultimately, lowering UWG’s cohort default rate year after year

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METHODS COMMUNICATION Money 101 
University of West Georgia

DEBT LETTER
Background

Research has shown that student borrowers often have little understanding of their indebtedness, as well as

many reporting they would borrow less if they could change the past (Baum & O'Malley, 2003). When

surveyed, 37.4% of undergraduates underestimated their loan debt, 1 in 10 underestimated their debt by more

than $10,000, and some did not know they had taken out federal loans whatsoever (Andruska, Hogarth,

Fletcher, Forbes & Wohlgemuth, 2014; Akers & Chingos, 2016). 

After research and assessment, we saw the implementation of a debt letter as the perfect resource for the

Office of Financial Aid to provide both information and resources about our students' loans and options.

Overview

Money 101 rolled out a Debt Letter for the 2018-19 academic year, for which

awarding began in March 2018. Over a year of reporting activities, peer study, and

UWG student and staff feedback went into the creation of the letter prior to its release.

Nearly five thousand letters were sent to UWG students who had financial aid

awarded for the 18-19 year. At minimum, a student who borrows loans their first year

should receive a debt letter no fewer than three times over the course of a four-year

enrollment.

Purpose 

In accordance with SAEM Priority 2, Strategy 3, the purpose of the Debt Letter is to facilitate financial

access, literacy, and clarity by equipping students with relevant, personalized borrowing figures to help them

make the most informed borrowing and repayment decisions. 

Every student with any federal, state, or private loan debt will be sent a letter at the time of financial

aid awarding which outlines an estimate of each student’s individual:

Dependency status

Total debt borrowed thus far 

Aggregate loan limit 

Percentage of aggregate limit borrowed thus far

Breakdown of total debt by federal, state, and private loan type 

Interest rate (assumed at 6.8%) and accrual amount

Total repayment amount

Monthly repayment amount (120-month assumed repayment plan)

Annual wage required to afford monthly repayment amount

Cumulative interest paid

Additionally, the letter provides more information about UWG financial literacy offerings and services, tools

and resources, and relevant contact information.

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METHODS COMMUNICATION Money 101 
University of West Georgia

EXIT COUNSELING NOTIFICATION


Both Entrance and Exit Counseling are required to be completed by all students to borrow any federal

student loan funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Whereas Entrance Counseling must be

completed before a student may borrow loan funding, no real incentive currently exists for students to

complete Exit Counseling either at the institutional or Department of Education levels.

Every one to two weeks, we notify via email all graduating students who have borrowed at any point during

their enrollment who have not yet completed Exit counseling, that Exit Counseling is a requirement they

must fulfill. In recent semesters, these efforts have produced considerable increases in timely and overall Exit

Counseling completion rates, as shown by the table below:

DELINQUENCY NOTIFICATION
Any federal student loan borrower who is between one and 269 days late in making a monthly student loan

payment toward their federal student loan debt is considered delinquent. While servicers are active in

contacting students regarding missed or late payments, we have found students generally view their

relationship with their servicer as adversarial and punitive. For this reason, we have begun contacting

students directly via mail about their delinquent loan status.

In addition to providing an overview of the importance of prioritizing student loan repayment and options for

more effectively managing debt, we also provide each student with the name and contact information of his

or her servicer. At this point, we mail letters every two weeks for any student with delinquent debt who was

enrolled within the most recent five terms, regardless of days past due. This method equates to roughly a

thousand delinquency letters sent per month.

Assessment is ongoing, but a possible alternative would be to target students regardless of most recent

enrollment whose days delinquent falls within a specified window, either 30 to 90 days or 120 to 180 days.

The biggest challenge in employing this method is how likely outdated mailing addresses are for students

who were enrolled more than two, three, or even five years ago. 

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METHODS COMMUNICATION Money 101 
University of West Georgia

SOCIAL MEDIA
We have found social media to be a great way to interact with our students, share information, and

connect our financial literacy education to their personal lives, academic studies, and future careers. 

FOLLOWERS
720
242
22

FOLLOW US
@MONEY101UWG

NEWSLETTER
We also use our newsletter to promote our programs, remind students of deadlines, and create community

and conversations about financial literacy on campus. 

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COLLABORATIONS Money 101 
University of West Georgia

STUDENT AFFAIRS & UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS


Career Services

Due to our focus on vocational readiness, we partnered with the Career Center on a recent presentation

entitled How to Dress for Success on a Budget. Erica and Jacalyn Butts, a graduate assistant in the Career

Center, created this presentation to illustrate proper business casual to business professional dress, how to

take care of professional clothes, and how to prepare for an interview. 

Center for Economic Education

We were glad to have the opportunity to collaborate with the CEE for multiple events, including Sigma

Gamma Rho's Project Wee Savers, presentations for the Greek Leadership Track, our Valentine's Day

event called Get Money$mart & Invest in You, and for our Strike out Debt with UWG Athletics. 

PASSIVE PROGRAMMING IN HOUSING & RESIDENCE LIFE


We were excited to have the opportunity to produce passive programming posters for the residence halls,

sponsored by Housing and Residence Life! These posters gave residents information about financial

literacy concepts, information on campus resources, and supported HRL's mission of residential

education and enrichment. 

COMMITTEES 
Our team is involved with multiple committees and initiatives on campus, and we incorporate financial

literacy principles in our work with these committees. At this time, these include both the Food Insecurity

Committee and the Wolf Wellness Committee. 

TRAINING 
Kendall McCamy is Green Zone Certified, which gives him a unique background in serving military-

connected students. Erica Lee is Safe Zone trained, which allows her to be an ally for students who

identify with the LGBTQ+ community. Our team is committed to continuing our education and training

to be inclusive and supportive of all UWG students in both our actions and programming. 

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OUR FUTURE PLANS Money 101 
University of West Georgia

GAMEIFICATION
Throw Me To The Wolves is a Monopoly-like board game meant
to lead the participants through a simulation of the first year after
their graduation. 

Players first choose a major and career. As the game begins, they
must budget their income while juggling their chosen student loan
repayment plan, grocery bills, transportation, and random events! 
(Your car's making a funny noise. Take it to the mechanic now for
$50 or after you get paid for $100?) After the game is completed,
we will lead the players through a discussion of what they've
learned and how they can apply these lessons to their own lives. 

PARTNERSHIPS WITH SAEM & ACADEMIC AFFAIRS


We hope to continue to collaborate with SAEM & Academic Affairs in the next years.  We envision
through repeated participation in our workshops, students will receive a well-rounded financial literacy
education and learn about the resources available to them as they move through their college career and after
graduation. 

THANK YOU!
We are truly grateful and excited to create financial literacy

education on campus. Thank you to our campus partners, our

coworkers in the Office of Financial Aid, and our supporters in

both student affairs and academic affairs. 

We are excited to see the outcomes of our work on campus, and

we hope to provide resources for our students to thrive during

their time here at UWG and beyond.

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