A growing number of students at Iowa State University are interested in boosting their financial literacy. Student enrollment in a one-credit, online “Personal Finance in Early Adulthood” course has tripled from two years ago.
Doug Borkowski, director of I.S.U.’s Financial Counseling Clinic, says the course is just one way students are trying to lighten their debt load. “We’ve had an increase in one-on-one counseling, workshop presentations and an increase in enrollment in the two offerings of personal finance courses,” Borkowski said.
ISU also offers a three-credit course related to personal finance. Enrollment in that course has increased from 187 in 2009 to 449 this year. The courses cover topics such as insurance, budgeting, investments and handling student loans.
“We’re really trying to cover everything that a student needs to know to survive…it’s not just, ‘cut up your credit cards, they’re getting you into trouble,'” Borkowski explained. A national report last year found Iowa ranked fourth among the state for average student loan debt carried by university and college graduates.
Borkowski says the fact that more students at I.S.U. are seeking financial advice might just help decrease that debt. “I think the big benefit is more students are gaining knowledge and finding out more information about issues they’re going to face related to personal/family finance,” Borkowski said.
In 2009, 74%t of students who graduated from an Iowa college had loan debt.