By Mariah Bennett | Staff writer
On October 28, the Student Financial Literacy program changed its name to Student Financial Wellness. The program announced the change on Instagram, saying in the caption that the change was meant to reflect the scope of its mission at Baylor.
“When we developed this program, we expanded our mission here at Baylor,” said Sara Ray, program manager for student financial wellness. “So we really wanted to go with a more holistic name — so, Student Financial Health.”
New Braunfels junior Caroline Hartung is a student financial management coach with Student Financial Wellness. He said the goal of the current program is to help students understand finance and develop financial knowledge and skills necessary for their financial health now and in the future.
Ray said Student Financial Wellness offers individual and group opportunities for students, including a free online course called Financial Literacy 101, presentations, workshops and speaking opportunities. He also said students can come in and meet with a financial coach — a fellow student who is fully trained in personal finance — about specific questions like budgeting and financial goals.
“[Coaches] It can be like a guide and partner responsible for building financial skills, knowledge, goals that students want to achieve and really provide that support system,” said Ray. “It can going into personal finance and money management for the first time can be very difficult when you’re trying to do it alone.”
Hartung said the program exists to help students in many ways, not just with their financial literacy.
“We really want to help [students] in full and have more health rather than financial aid,” said Hartung. “We are for their complete health, not just their financial literacy.”
Ray said Student Financial Wellness takes a community approach as opposed to the personal approach associated with the previous Student Financial Literacy title. However, financial literacy is one component of financial health, says Ray.
“Financial literacy is really about developing the knowledge and skills for students to figure out how to navigate their own money, their financial situation and the wider economy,” he said. Ray. “Financial wellness is broader… We’re starting to talk to students about their financial worth, and how that works to build knowledge and skills, as well as help students navigate the search for different support systems, opportunities for learning experiences, formation. assets, such as construction, storage and investment.”
In an Instagram caption announcing the name change, Student Financial Wellness said the program’s mission extends beyond educating individuals and exploring new ways for students to be empowered through opportunity. learning experiences and asset building efforts.
“Our office is connected to resources across campus and the wider community where we reach out to students to ensure they are supported materially, emotionally, relationally and spiritually,” said the post on Instagram.
Ray said Baylor’s Christian tradition makes Student Financial Wellness unique compared to similar departments on secular campuses.
“I would say that the unique aspect of what we’re starting with is asking students to think about issues like stewardship, generosity, humility, fairness in the marketplace — different issues. all that may be a secular institution or a government institution, it may not necessarily be a question that students ask,” said Ray. “But here at Baylor, we want our students to become Christian leaders. And that’s certainly part of our job here at Fin Well: asking students, as Christian leaders, like, how is your money going to work with that?”
Ray said while the workshop was closed for the fall semester, Student Financial Wellness will host an investor education workshop series in the spring semester. The program is located on the roof of the Sid Richardson Building in the East Wing.
“I think it’s good if students can be open to admit, ‘Hey, I can get help here at Baylor, and we’re a community here at Baylor,'” Ray said. “We want to build a support system for students.”