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Personal Money Management $1.01

Students at the University of Cincinnati were the drivers behind “Personal Money Management,” a course created to offer students some rules of the road to steer around real-life financial trouble.

Date: 9/18/2006 12:00:00 AM
By: Wendy Beckman
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photos By: Lisa Ventre, Andrew Higley

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According to the Nellie Mae Foundation, the average end-of-year credit card debt for the American college first-year student is $1,200, and the average end-of-year credit card debt for the American college senior is $3,300.

Former Student Body President Andrew Burke avoids credit card debt.
Former Student Body President Andrew Burke avoids credit card debt.

Last year, Student Body President Andrew Burke and Vice President Dominic Berardi approached faculty members within the College of Business for a real-life, student-focused course on money management. Using Nellie Mae stats, the two presented a compelling case for “Personal Money Management,” one of only a handful of such academic-credit courses taught at universities. With the support of Faculty Senate’s Ann Welsh, Associate Dean Marianne Lewis and Provost Tony Perzigian, the one-credit-hour course was approved in time for the fall quarter 2006.

Current student body president, Jerry Tsai, appreciates the team effort behind pulling the course together. “This type of collaboration is always a great way to work together to better serve the students,” he says. “This type of course may be unique now, but it will hopefully prove to be such a helpful course that teaches students from all ends of the university about life lessons and skills that are crucial to successful money management. This is the type of course that students have the opportunity to apply what they learn in class to their daily lives immediately.”

The objectives of “Personal Money Management” are to give UC students knowledge of important, basic personal money management principles to help them succeed in life. These principles include understanding financial statements, time-value of money concepts, goal-setting, budgeting, taxes, cash management, major purchases and savings and investments. There is only one stated prerequisite: “An interest in improving the quality of your financial life so that you can spend your time doing things that are more fun!”

Former Student VP Dominic Berardi says fellow students often choose credit cards for the wrong reasons.
Former Student VP Dominic Berardi says fellow students often choose credit cards for the wrong reasons.

Former VP Berardi, himself a business major, notes, “70 percent of credit card holders in college have over a ten percent APR and most students don’t know what that means. Students will sign up for a credit card to get a six-pack of Red Bull or a T-shirt.”

Burke, former president of the UC student body, does not have a credit card. “I don’t buy anything I can’t afford to buy,” he says. “A lot of students don’t understand that. I had $1500 on my credit cards when I was 18 and my mom helped pay them off and that was it for me. I cancelled my credit cards and haven’t had any again.”

Assistant Professor Margaret Reed developed the course and will be teaching the first session this fall. She says the course will “examine the transition from high school to college, credit cards, student loans, financing a car.” She’s hoping that if this is successful, then there will be an opportunity to develop another course to manage the transition from college to career, including planning for retirement.

“My father was very conservative financially, and I remember when I was as young as 17 years old, I was investing part of the money I made from my summer job into an IRA,” Reed says. “They’re not going to get out of this class without learning how to use a financial calculator!”

Current Student Body President Jerry Tsai.
Student President Tsai credits the initiative of his predecessors and instrumental support from the faculty.

As students everywhere face rising tuition costs, UC students are finding way to get more bang from their bucks.

Current Student Body President Tsai is not signed up for the first offering of Personal Money Management. “However, I do hope to sign up for the course before my career at UC comes to a close,” he says. “I'm a political science major in Arts & Sciences, so you can imagine that I need all the help I can get when it comes to managing my personal finances.”

“Some students every year drop out for financial or money problems, especially because of student loans,” says Reed. “And (even) one student is too many.”

Register for Personal Money Management (22-BA-181-001).

For more information on the new year at UC, see:

UC Welcomes Another Record Class

Building Enrollment While Raising the Bar: UC Starts Classes Sept. 20

Enrollment Trends & Projections

UC Tightens Security By Removing Social Security Numbers

UC Commuters Join the Morning Commute

UC Taking Proactive Approach to Crime Prevention

UC Construction: All Quiet (Almost) on West Campus

New Year Offers New Opportunity to Go Global

Scavenger Hunt Greets New Applied Science Students

Delectable Dining: UC's CenterCourt Named the Best in the Nation

UC Mobile Picks Up Momentum, Adds New Features

New Academic Programs for 2006-2007

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