Santa Fe College creates financial wellness center with Vystar Credit Union

As a student at Santa Fe College, Reine Labaki wants to do more than just get a degree. Labaki also aims to learn about financial wellbeing along with your studies clinical laboratory science. Coming from Lebanon and never attending a major school before, Labaki came to Santa Fe to do a bachelor’s degree and interact with professors – so as not to worry about debt.

That goal is now easier for Labaki and other students in Santa Fe to achieve: the school partnered with VyStar Credit Union to create their Financial Wellness Center, which opened at the beginning of the fall semester. Located on the college’s Northwest campus in Gainesville, the center provides students with access to financial resources, wellness assistance, and household advice from the credit union staff.

Colin Benner, Santa Fe Customer Service and Financial Aid Coordinator, took an interest in financial wellbeing by helping students allocate aid payments. As chairman of the college’s Financial Wellness Committee, Benner has partnered with VyStar to promote the partnership.

“I’m excited about this partnership because it gives our students access to financial wellness experts who can provide personal advice,” said Benner. “It’s not a class or group presentation; it is a one-on-one assistance with the [students] can all have their questions answered. “

As of September 6, the enrollment rate for new college students has increased by 13%. Among the new students are high school graduates, young adults who have completed a year in between, and adults who are returning to training from professional life. VyStar gives the college’s diverse population the opportunity to meet their specific financial challenges.

“Students who have a plan to afford their education and maintain financial stability throughout their school years are ways that The Financial Wellness Center encourages students to enroll and stay enrolled, ”said Benner.

The program is an official partnership with the school under the direction of Santa Fe President Paul Broadie II. Naima Brown, vice president of student affairs, endorsed the agreement with VyStar Credit Union.

“The ability to schedule a free, confidential personal finance session online or in person is a huge benefit for our students,” said Brown, “… especially for those who may receive and need large sums of money through financial aid Plan to expand those dollars. ”

In addition to providing weekly advice on deficit budgeting, debt settlement, and retirement planning, the VyStar team has created college courses in financial wellness.

“I really appreciate VyStar University and the free online courses that are available to students 24/7,” said Brown. We want our students to already have good financial habits so that they can build and maintain wealth. “

Parking spaces in front of the Financial Wellness Center are reserved for VyStar employees during the individual consultation days (Samantha Inselberg, WUFT News)

In 2006, VyStar launched its Academy of Business High School Branch Program. After Vystar distributed over 1,350 paid internships and offered financial education to over 70,000 high school students, Vystar expanded the program to include universities. As Vice President, School Programs, Michael Rathjen aims to equip as many students as possible across northeast Florida.

“We found that a large segment of students are interested in learning how to save money effectively,” said Rathjen Holding them up and being a wise consumer comes into play. “

While there are financial institutions attending other colleges, the Vystar and Santa Fe partnership exists solely to provide financial guidance to the entire student body.

“We are very pleased with the early stages of the program,” said Rathjen, “Our partnership began on August 23rd and we have already had individual appointments from students for their personal advice at our Financial Wellness Center in Santa Fe. booked. “

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