Last week we talked about the true cost of a college education and how we, as a society, could help make a college education more accessible to a greater percentage of our population. Unfortunately, there are many students who are unable to finish their college degree. The inability to properly manage their financial lives is one of the reasons college students fail to graduate.

In a survey completed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) in August 2015, only 17% of the students said they had received formal financial education before attending college. 42% indicated they had learned about finances from a family member.

While 57% of the college students who were part of the survey indicated they had “good” or “excellent” financial management skills, only 39% were actually using a monthly budget. And nearly half admitted they often had less than $100 in their bank accounts. In addition, more than one-third of these students had borrowed money from friends or family.

It appears, then, that college students could benefit from additional financial education. According to the survey, the students agree: “84% said they were ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ interested in learning how to make better financial decisions.” Virtually all of the students participating in the survey desire to improve their financial management skills.

If you are or know a college student who is interested in improving your financial management skills, we have a set of workshops for you. Adults can also benefit from these workshops. Topics to be included are:

  • How the banking system works.
  • The power of compound interest — you can use it in your favor or it can be used against you.
  • How to save for future purchases.
  • Getting out of debt.
  • Creating a spending plan.
  • Paying for college without breaking the bank.
  • Income taxes.

The workshops will be held on Oct. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Enterprise Center, 4611 South 96th St, Omaha. You can download the brochure (PDF). Online registration will be available soon.

For more information on the workshops, please email Judith Ackland.



Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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