To provide comprehensive financial literacy, Ohio State University developed Financial eGAUGE (Financial Education for Graduates And Undergraduates from GradSchool to Employment), which is a collaboration of the Graduate School and Scarlet & Gray Financial (SGF) program. SGF provides free financial advice and education to students at Ohio State through large group presentations, workshops, and in-person financial coaching.
Project plan and activities:
Resources include a full continuum of online and in-person offerings, including eLearning modules, webinars, small group workshops, and individual one-on-one coaching. Specifically, this project (1) scaled SGF’s in-person services and (2) developed an eLearning module system for financial education. With the fruition of this program, students have full access to financial literacy resources individualized to their needs.
Financial eGAUGE targets a wide range of students with specifically tailored methods according to each student’s financial situation. Using a multi-method tiered approach, online content and eLearning modules are the least personal and tailored, but allow the entire student population to access financial education information as they need it. Next, group presentations and seminars are utilized to reach large groups of students as well, and the content is more tailored and interactive. One-on-one coaching provides the most relevant information to each student. Students with low financial literacy or high levels of financial stress or risk are encouraged to request a one-on-one appointment, whereas student with higher financial literacy or lower levels of stress are encouraged to explore online financial literacy platforms, workshops, seminars, or group activities.
Scarlet & Gray Financial is staffed primarily by undergraduate student volunteer peer coaches, but the program expanded their range to include graduate-level peer coaches and Graduate Student Financial Ambassadors. The program covers a multitude of topics, including financial foundations, student loan entrance counseling, avoiding identity theft, budgeting, credit cards and reports, student loan repayment, and major purchases, among others. Financial counseling opportunities specifically target graduate (especially in social, behavioral, and economic sciences (SBE) fields), underrepresented minority (URM), and high-risk students, as well as undergraduate students considering a graduate career.
The Graduate School incorporated financial literacy into its Preparing Future Faculty Program and added interactive workshops before or after other student organization meetings (such as Ohio Union Activities Board Grad/Prof Series and Council of Graduate Students’ Professional Development Series) to provide population-specific content and promote one-on-one coaching services.
More information on the project can be found here.