With national student loan debt climbing to over $1.3 trillion, students may struggle to manage their personal finances, but resources through the University aim to help students take control of their assets.

BGSU is partnered with PNC Bank to provide students with free financial literacy resources, workshops and programs. From the “Money 101” to “Identify theft,” there are several different seminar events offered that cover the essentials for attaining financial autonomy.

PNC’s money management online module is its central resource offered to students that elucidates concepts behind banking basics, checking accounts, managing accounts and budgeting fundamentals. The module can be openly accessed on the BGSU PNC banking website, and students who complete it receive a certificate of completion that is indicative of how well they know financial abstracts.

BGSU has also partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education to offer a free “CashCourse” that is specifically tailored for college students.

While BGSU students can focus their studies of finances in the college of business, there are few classes offered here that actually cover personal finances.

“The emphasis is on using company money as opposed to our own personal money,” senior business ambassador Collin Newton said, “and how to invest in companies, instead of stocks. We go over how to make a balance sheet or how to do a cost analysis, but it’s all on a grand scale as opposed to how you pay rent and buy food and have enough money left in the bank to grow interest.”

Adjunct business finance faculty member Michael Slates, who teaches three sections of a business finance course, said, in terms of personal finances, “there is very little in my class, and in our text is nothing. I try to bring some material in, but it is much less than what students need to know.”

The majority of content in finance courses at the University covers macro level concepts, such as financial statement analyses, financial market evaluations and assessments of stocks, bonds and capital. But this information is only applicable to personal finances to a limited extent, and does not address the key concepts students need to know, like building credit or investing.

BGSU’s finance department does offer one personal finance course, FIN 2000, that is open to non-business majors, and is specifically designed for people who want help with their money and simultaneously receive college credit.

“I go through the financial planning process,” said personal finance instructor John Reing. “I break down students’ financial goals and evaluate how much money they need to meet those goals.”

Concepts like retirement, tax planning and asset protection are just a few of the several topics covered in personal finance. One lesson important in personal finance: $1.6 million is the approximate amount of money an individual who makes $50,000 annually needs to save for a healthy retirement.

These and other personal management lessons can be found in personal finance courses.

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