This is part two of our 5 Signs of a Healthy Student Journey Series. Catch up on part one!
Any time spent in the retention and student success fields will quickly reveal that financial issues are one of the primary obstacles toward achieving an educational goal. From major, systemic issues like food and housing insecurity to smaller, individual needs like gas money or paying a small account balance, finances can take a student’s momentum down quicker than almost anything else. It’s because of this that there are so many regulations and large-scale resources available to address finances in education.
Most schools have said that the problem they have when students encounter financial issues is not whether there are resources available to address a particular need, it’s whether students are aware of the issue and know how to get help.
Similar to academic progress, it’s important to start to teach students how to assess their own financial situation by equipping them to ask themselves a few major questions:
1. Am I meeting my baseline obligations?
Whether it’s paying a student account balance or an electricity bill, students all have baseline obligations to meet.
2. Am I making responsible decisions?
Students are making decisions about money all the time that impact their whole lives; everything from deciding whether or not to take out more loans, or picking up extra shifts at work. By helping them reflect on how decisions fit into their educational journey, we can help them connect the dots between seemingly disparate situations and their larger values.
3. Am I prepared for the future?
Even students who are meeting their baseline obligations may encounter financial obstacles that could impact their education. Helping students to ask questions about how prepared they are for their future helps them situate themselves in a larger story about their financial health that includes things like budgeting, money management, and loan repayment plans.
Stay tuned for part three, or download the full eBook below!