Debt is becoming a major problem among college students because of the constant applying and using of credit cards and also the irrational use of time and money management. Four months of the new year have already gone by and I am sure that all the New Years resolutions concerning finances have gone completely out of the window. It is extremely important for college students to be aware of finances and how to budget because they are primary targets for luring money.Alvin Rohrs is the president and CEO of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), which is a nonprofit collegiate organization that is getting students involved on hundreds of campuses across the country in order to tackle the issue of financial literacy on campus and in communities. It was founded in 1975 and today is active on more than 1300 college and university campuses in 31 countries. Rohrs concern is the mere fact that over 70% of undergraduates at four-year colleges apply for credit cards. This makes it vital for them to have an early education about personal finance. Discipline, organization and sacrifice are crucial in solving money problems and managing debt. According to the 2002 SIFE Fiscal Fitness Survey, only 38% of college students prepare a monthly budget, 32% are currently in credit card debt and less than half understand how the stock market works. This was a survey taken from 27 campuses in 19 states. Knowledge in checking accounts, savings accounts and on-line banking, help provide resources and techniques used to develop and manage personal or household budgets. It helps you make a responsible use of credit and value the importance of saving and investing. There is also a special emphasis on the time value of money. On campus, it is beneficial to have student organizations that educate people of the advantages of good credit. There is a student-run counseling service called Credit-Wise Cats designed to help students reduce debt, increase savings and create budgets.
They received a grant for their efforts from Credit Counselors of America. In 2004, the team held 35 workshops for 790 graduates and undergraduates. Testing revealed studentsʼ knowledge of credit and debt management improved by onethird after attending counseling sessions. These types of sessions are important in building a healthy American economy. College students are the main individuals that should obtain good credit because after college many students are looking to start their careers. Also they need to be prepared in order to buy major investments such as homes and cars.
Some college campuses have taken a stance in preventing the debt deficit among college students. In Florida, during their radio broadcast, SIFE students at Flagler College offer financial tips, “College of Consumer Knowledge.” They are also creating a newspaper financial advice column, “First Aid for Your Wallet,” to help get rid of financial illiteracy. SIFE is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with business and higher education to provide college and university students the opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills. This is done through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise. For more information, contact SIFE World Headquarters at 1-800-677- SIFE, or visit www.sife.org.