New CofC Initiative to Focus on Students’ Financial Wellness

You probably think about your physical and mental health, but how often do you think about your financial health?

Ironically, your financial health directly affects your physical and mental health. Poor financial resources can create tremendous stress and is the second most common reason for students to drop out of college.

To help students at the College of Charleston ease their financial worries and overcome obstacles in achieving their career goals, the Career Center will launch the Financial Wellness Initiative (FWI) on November 8, 2021 in support of the college’s strategic plan.

Established by Jim Allison, Managing Director of the University’s Career Center, and Michael Lee, an MBA candidate and a graduate of the Career Center, the FWI provides student support and resources through members of the Charleston community and iGrad, a software program designed specifically for universities.

“I’m very excited about this new initiative,” says Allison. “Finances have proven to be a hindrance for students in pursuing internships and career goals. Being able to provide students with an understanding of financial decisions and making wise financial decisions will enable them to better manage their college careers and academic progress. “

Allison emphasizes that freshmen should take advantage of the FWI in their freshman year of college to get the most out of the program. That way, they have a foundation on which to make wise financial decisions throughout their time at CofC and throughout their careers.

For Lee, participation in the project has given him the opportunity to work with local financial institutions that serve as resources for the students.

“Financial institutions are excited about the opportunity to build long-term relationships while demonstrating that they are good corporate citizens,” said Lee, who worked as a private banker at South State Bank before moving to college.

Thanks to Allison and Lee, Truist, JPMorgan Chase & Co., CommonWealth and Wells Fargo are on board to serve as resources for the students.

At the start of the FWI, financial institutions and the Career Center will be in the Cougar Mall from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to share information about the program and answer questions about the iGrad software, accessible on a desktop computer or mobile phone is. From 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., representatives from partner financial institutions will attend an event through Zoom to discuss their resources and how they are working with FWI. Students can access the event through the registration form for the Financial Wellness Meeting.

In the spring, Lee will act as a student advisor, but this fall he has a deep understanding of the financial needs of the students and the work required to start a new initiative.

“I got a glimpse of student life and student needs,” he says. “It’s exciting to start something like the Financial Wellness Initiative and to get going.”

To learn more about the Financial Wellness Initiative, November 8th kick-off events, and upcoming workshops, visit the Financial Wellness website.

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