The Cornerstone University CashCourse promotes financial competency in college students
By Eric Beaudoin
Scott Stewart, Director of Student Financial Services, wanted to give Cornerstone University students answers about finances and managing money.
The CU CashCourse is an online, interactive financial education program developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education, a non-profit organization designed to promote financial literacy in college students. CashCourse offers advice and direction on how to balance a checkbook; pay off student loans, finding a financial institution to bank with, and investing, amongst other things.
The CashCourse has been available to CU students since spring 2011.
On the website, there are sample budgets, entertaining quizzes to gauge financial knowledge, and other tools for students to use to learn about finances. Cash- Course touches on more than just budgeting; it lays out how to find scholarships, eating healthy on a budget, getting out of credit card debt and how to understand your credit score.
CashCourse seeks to provide students with the tools necessary for adjusting their lifestyle to be financially responsible.
Stewart, who first heard about the CashCourse at a financial aid conference, said that, in his 25 years working with CU, he has seen too many students enter and ultimately leave college unprepared for the financial responsibilities they take on, such as student loans and credit cards.
The CashCourse compiles answers to questions most people wish they had had before they lived out on their own. Use of CashCourse can prevent simple mistakes from becoming large issues and can equip students with the information they need to make good choices with their money.
Furthermore, Stewart had heard that other colleges were having successful experiences with offering CashCourse to their students.
For these reasons, Stewart contacted the National Endowment for Financial Education and set about implementing this resource as an option for CU students. In order to gauge students’ response to this new resource, Stewart has access to a website that displays traffic on the CU CashCourse.
Overall, response has increased since it was first offered, and Stewart is hoping that there is enough demand to make CashCourse a permanent institution available to CU students.
CashCourse is similar to Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” which is a more involved, long-term class. Both Dave Ramsey’s resource and CashCourse seek to provide tools to help individuals live with better attitudes towards money and a better understanding of how to use the gifts that God has given to them.
“We want to see our students excel as influencers in the world for Christ; we need them to be good stewards of the resources God blesses them with,” Stewart said. Stewart said the CU Cash- Course provides students with the knowledge necessary to be good stewards through learning how to be financially responsible and how to be influencers for Christ based on their actions in their daily lives.
The CU CashCourse can be found at http://www.cashcourse. org/cornerstoneuniversity/.