Start planning now for April
April is National Financial Literacy Month, meaning the social-sphere will be filled with tips, resources and information to teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. FinAid offices can easily tap into this momentum to deliver relevant, creative financial aid-focused information to students and parents. But you’ll need to start planning now.
Financial literacy awareness effort suggestions
“When I worked at a campus in Default Prevention, April would always sneak up on me,” says Misty Myre, a Regional Director at CampusLogic. “I wished I had prepared more to reach out to my students and take advantage of the buzz around April’s theme of financial literacy.” Myre offers some fun, effective and creative ways that DFAs and #finaid offices can engage with students about financial literacy.
• Schedule one email a week – Share unique content and links to financial literacy videos or blog posts once a week throughout April to keep the topic top-of-mind with students. If you work with a financial literacy vendor, this is a great topic to collaborate with them on. Most students check email via mobile, so be sure your content is mobile-friendly. Capture open/click rates to determine audience engagement.
• Send mailers/postcards – Use info-graphics or photos to convey your financial literacy message. Make it fun and easy for the student (and parent) to absorb the concept.
• Schedule alerts on your student portal–Students spend hours in their online portal, so it’s an ideal place to drive awareness of financial literacy. Have the alert to lead to content – an article, tip sheet, resource, or infographic – and track the click through-rates to determine both audience engagement and which types of tools resonate most with your students.
• Host a free webinar – Students may not have time to read through tons of content—or they may feel overwhelmed by the topic and would prefer in-person resources. Offering a student-facing webinar or in-person training on financial literacy topics is a great idea. Consider involving different departments in your school including the financial aid office, a faculty member, a third party vendor, the possibilities are endless.
• Start a social media campaign – Unite your social efforts around a unique hashtag and also tie-into the official hashtag of the week: #FLM2016. Encourage your students to tweet, post, and Instagram about how financial literacy impacts their lives. Retweet and share the best photo that your office feels captures your campaign topic. #AreYouWritingThisDown #ThisCouldBeAwesome. Don’t forget to follow these folks on Twitter as they’ll be sharing out content throughout April: @cfpb @nfccdebtadvice @council4econed @campuslogic.
Free resources to build your Financial Literacy content
Choosing a topic to focus on each week of April can help you bring structure to your plan. You can highlight things like creating a budget, tax season and refunds, myth busters: addressing common student loan misconceptions, and student loan repayment tips. Another idea
The National Foundation For Credit Counseling offers a suite of consumer tools including infographics, financial calculators, podcasts, budget worksheets and more.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers resources including student financial guides, tools to help students compare financial aid offers, tips on optimizing how to pay off student loans, and more.
In April, the Council for Economic Education will feature guest blog posts from leaders in financial literacy education, including educators, journalists, politicians and corporate leaders. Their website also offers videos and resources.
The Financial Literacy Month website offers a wealth of free resources to help you. These resources are provided by Money Management International, a non-profit credit and debt counselling firm.
Stay tuned for more suggestions, resources, and tips for making the most of April’s Financial Literacy Month at your school. And kudos to The National Foundation For Credit Counseling for the awesome shirt design! See more of their shirts here.