Students at the University of Northern Iowa are being offered a crash course in financial literacy called “Live Like a Student.”

Tim Bakula, associate director of UNI’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, says the course was designed a few years ago for incoming freshman.

“However, what we’ve seen with the program is that it actually helps students freshman through senior year as well as graduate students on campus,” Bakula says, “by learning a little bit more about budgeting and having financial goals, how to live within your means, and understanding how your actions today can impact your financial future.”

It’s a free, non-credit course that lasts three weeks.

“Budgeting, financial aid, student loans, credit and credit card activity, and identity protection are our main core topics,” Bakula says. “We also offer workshops throughout the year on campus related to repayment of loans, money and relationships, and a variety of other topics we’ve come up with over time.”

Students are often urged to take the course by their parents, as it’s featured prominently during orientation. While participants get free t-shirts, Bakula says there’s another larger incentive.

“During each month that Live Like a Student is offered, we give away one $500 scholarship that goes to students,” Bakula says. “As they register and participate in each class, they are able to put their name in for the scholarship drawing.”

He hopes the personalized efforts will help students in planning for their financial futures.

Learn more about the program at this website: http://www.uni.edu/finaid/