PFSA aims to be resource for lower-income and first-generation students

When Weinberg junior Maia Miller found out her financial aid through Northwestern was taxable, she didn’t know who to turn to for advice.

Miller, an international student from Brazil, said he and his parents are not familiar with financial politics in the United States. But when he sought advice from NU, he didn’t get the information he was looking for.

“I’ve contacted a few campus offices, and none of them can help file your taxes,” he said. “So, I did some research.”

Miller said she realized then that there was a need for student groups that teach financial literacy, especially to first-generation and/or lower-income students.

Today, Miller is the president and co-founder of the Personal Finance Student Association — a student organization that helps students manage their personal finances. The group began hosting Fall Quarter events, offering workshops on specific financial topics such as wealth management, budgeting, savings and investments, loans and insurance.

PFSA hosted a budgeting workshop last November with Northwestern Mutual. Junior Weinberg and PFSA Treasurer Agustin Bayer said the organization also plans to hold a tax filing workshop ahead of the April 18 tax holiday.

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“We plan to put (tax information) in our newsletter and also highlight it in the workshop so that those who are currently struggling with what to do with their W-2s can can take advantage of it. ”, said Bayer.

The student finance association also plans to implement an advisory system, where some members can advise peers on specific financial topics. Counseling began Jan. 31, Bayer said.

Also a founder of PFSA, Bayer said he hopes the organization can help FGLI students manage their finances so they can enjoy their college experience to the “fullest extent.”

“Developing good habits in everything, but especially in money management, is something you need to work on,” says Bayer. “Having someone else to support you in that process makes it a lot easier.”

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McCormick junior Sheyla Adaya said that, as an FGLI student, finding resources to support financial literacy can be difficult.

They said they have contacted other members of the group who have had similar experiences.

“There’s really no one to teach you except yourself or other friends,” Adaya said. “We want to do it the way of friends, especially.”

However, some PFSA members had little experience in finance before joining the organisation.

Weinberg junior and PFSA director of marketing Anjani Gusman said she was not financially literate before joining the group. However, after learning about budgeting and other financial skills from the organization, she said she was inspired to find a job learning on the job as a production assistant. Norris University Center.

“I’m more motivated to save now, learn how to visit (and) know my priorities,” Gusman said.

In addition to advising students and hosting financial literacy workshops, Miller said the PFSA wants to identify financial resources at the University, such as property management or commercial bank. through Northwestern Career Advancement.

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Bayer said PFSA leaders met with many NCA members because the association’s counsel, Valerie Schoonover, is the assistant director of employer strategy.

Schoonover said he could connect the PFSA with Northwestern Mutual at the budget workshop in November.

He added that PFSA is a unique organization on campus because of its emphasis on personal finance.

“As far as I understand, this is the first organization that has any kind of financial and self-help goals, especially from lower-income or first-generation students,” Schoonover said. “I really like that corner for the group.”

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Twitter: @PavanAcharya02

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