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Student Financial Education Center: 
A Library/Student Startup for Financial 
Literacy 
Lauren Reiter, Business Liaison Li...
Startup 
“Startups are organizations dedicated to creating 
something new under conditions of extreme 
uncertainty.” 
From...
Debt Comparison: 
US Student Loan, 
Credit Card, Auto 
Loan, & Other Debt 
Procon.org. (2013). US Student 
Loan, Credit Ca...
Money Problems 
 College students face a variety of financial issues 
 Student loans 
 Cost of college 
 Tuition 
 Te...
Penn State 
 A multi-campus institution—all one system 
 24 campuses 
 95,973 students, as of Fall 2014 
 Largest camp...
Financial Literacy 
“The ability to use knowledge and skills to manage 
one's financial resources effectively for lifetime...
Financial Literacy at Penn State
Financial Literacy at Penn State: 
MoneyCounts 
Wilson Hutton, Public Relations and Marketing, Penn State University Libra...
Financial Literacy at Penn State: 
Student Financial Education Center 
 Student approached librarian with novel idea: a p...
Benefits of peer to peer 
education 
• More informal than classroom 
instruction 
• Relaxed and comfortable 
atmosphere 
•...
Models at other universities 
 New for libraries, not new elsewhere in higher ed 
 Some examples 
 Texas Tech Universit...
Peer to Peer 
Financial Education 
and… the Library? 
• We’ve never done this before 
• Lack of financial literacy 
expert...
Peer to Peer Financial Education and 
the Library 
 Student space 
 High traffic area 
 Other peer to peer models alrea...
Peer to Peer Financial Education and 
the Library 
 Established interest in financial literacy 
 Reputation for reliabil...
Student Financial 
Education Center 
(SFEC) 
A partnership between 
University Libraries & 
University Park 
Undergraduate...
Timeline 
 April-August 2013: Planning 
 August 2013-December 2013: Training and finalizing 
documentation 
 January 20...
Collaboration 
 More partners needed than the 2 primary entities 
 SFEC supported by faculty and staff in 
 Commission ...
Staffing 
 Startup team consisted of six students 
 One Student Director who works closely with SFEC 
advisors and has p...
Space 
 Former conference room in business library office 
suite transformed into SFEC 
 Equipped with table, chairs, fi...
Personal Finance 
Curriculum 
12-hour training over 2 days 
developed and led by Dr. 
Daad Rizk and Dr. Cathy 
Bowen 
• Bu...
Education vs. Advice 
 Training developed at request of Risk Management 
office 
 Designed and delivered by librarian/SF...
Risk Management 
 Forms required by Risk Management office 
 Student information form 
 Biographical data 
 Consent an...
Marketing & promotion 
 Website 
 Flyers 
 Posters 
 Social media 
 Email announcements 
 Ad in campus 
newspaper 
...
SWOT Analysis 
Strengths 
 Support 
 Space 
 Students 
Weaknesses 
 Lack of experience 
 Limitations of office hours ...
Grand Opening 
 Created Financial Education Week in January 2014 
 Grand opening reception 
 Three presentations by SFE...
Assess and Adjust 
Issues 
No-shows for 
appointments 
Original training 
program incompatible 
with schedules 
Revisions ...
Student Engagement 
 Hard to maintain when business is slow 
 Return to reasons why Peer Educators joined 
 To learn 
...
Outreach Activities 
 Increase number of presentations to increase number 
of appointments 
 Parents & Families Weekend ...
Collaborate and Partner 
 MoneyCounts: A Financial Literacy Series 
 Promote 
 Co-present
Growth 
 Currently have 9 Peer Educators 
 Staffing and space meets needs…for now 
 Have done tweaks to adjust to the u...
Questions?
Thank you! 
Lauren Reiter 
Business Liaison Librarian 
Penn State University Libraries 
lmr29@psu.edu
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Student Financial Education Center: A Library/Student Startup for Financial Literacy

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Presentation from the Entrepreneurial Librarian Conference, October 17, 2014, Wake Forest University.Lauren Reiter,Penn State University

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Student Financial Education Center: A Library/Student Startup for Financial Literacy

  1. 1. Student Financial Education Center: A Library/Student Startup for Financial Literacy Lauren Reiter, Business Liaison Librarian Penn State University Libraries Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians October 17, 2014
  2. 2. Startup “Startups are organizations dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” From Think Like A Startup: a white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism, by Brian Matthews of Virginia Tech
  3. 3. Debt Comparison: US Student Loan, Credit Card, Auto Loan, & Other Debt Procon.org. (2013). US Student Loan, Credit Card, Auto Loan, & Other Debt, 2004-2013(in billions). Retrieved from http://college-education. procon.org/
  4. 4. Money Problems  College students face a variety of financial issues  Student loans  Cost of college  Tuition  Textbooks  Money management  maintaining a budget  handling first credit cardplanning for the future
  5. 5. Penn State  A multi-campus institution—all one system  24 campuses  95,973 students, as of Fall 2014  Largest campus is University Park  46,606 students, as of Fall 2014
  6. 6. Financial Literacy “The ability to use knowledge and skills to manage one's financial resources effectively for lifetime financial security." Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education.
  7. 7. Financial Literacy at Penn State
  8. 8. Financial Literacy at Penn State: MoneyCounts Wilson Hutton, Public Relations and Marketing, Penn State University Libraries
  9. 9. Financial Literacy at Penn State: Student Financial Education Center  Student approached librarian with novel idea: a peer to peer financial education program in the library  Teach students to serve as Peer Financial Educators  One-on-one assistance  Presentations
  10. 10. Benefits of peer to peer education • More informal than classroom instruction • Relaxed and comfortable atmosphere • Easier to relate to fellow students • Peer educators gain communication and leadership skills Wilson Hutton, Public Relations and Marketing, Penn State University Libraries
  11. 11. Models at other universities  New for libraries, not new elsewhere in higher ed  Some examples  Texas Tech University  Kansas State University  Ohio State University
  12. 12. Peer to Peer Financial Education and… the Library? • We’ve never done this before • Lack of financial literacy expertise
  13. 13. Peer to Peer Financial Education and the Library  Student space  High traffic area  Other peer to peer models already in use in libraries  Writing tutors  Tech tutors  Student reference assistants
  14. 14. Peer to Peer Financial Education and the Library  Established interest in financial literacy  Reputation for reliability and objectivity  Opportunity to incubate innovative student ideas
  15. 15. Student Financial Education Center (SFEC) A partnership between University Libraries & University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA)
  16. 16. Timeline  April-August 2013: Planning  August 2013-December 2013: Training and finalizing documentation  January 2014: Grand opening
  17. 17. Collaboration  More partners needed than the 2 primary entities  SFEC supported by faculty and staff in  Commission for Adult Learners  College of Agricultural Sciences  Student Aid  Student Affairs
  18. 18. Staffing  Startup team consisted of six students  One Student Director who works closely with SFEC advisors and has position in UPUA government  Members of Penn State Finance Society  Working on a volunteer basis
  19. 19. Space  Former conference room in business library office suite transformed into SFEC  Equipped with table, chairs, filing cabinets, laptop and shredder  Office hours limited to business library office hours
  20. 20. Personal Finance Curriculum 12-hour training over 2 days developed and led by Dr. Daad Rizk and Dr. Cathy Bowen • Budgeting • Credit • Student loans All Peer Educators required to pass exam with score of 80% or higher Money – Savings by 401(K) 2012 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  21. 21. Education vs. Advice  Training developed at request of Risk Management office  Designed and delivered by librarian/SFEC advisor  Incorporated New York Public Library’s Money Matter$ Pro Library Reference Scenarios
  22. 22. Risk Management  Forms required by Risk Management office  Student information form  Biographical data  Consent and release form  Recognizes that Peer educator is not a licensed professional  Will not hold liable  Peer Educator Agreement for  Protect student confidentiality & privacy  Provide education not advice
  23. 23. Marketing & promotion  Website  Flyers  Posters  Social media  Email announcements  Ad in campus newspaper  Post on Onward State
  24. 24. SWOT Analysis Strengths  Support  Space  Students Weaknesses  Lack of experience  Limitations of office hours Opportunities  There is a need  Lack of competition Threats  Unknown demand  Alternative sources for information
  25. 25. Grand Opening  Created Financial Education Week in January 2014  Grand opening reception  Three presentations by SFEC Advisors and Peer Educators  Tables in student union for SFEC info distribution and appointment sign up
  26. 26. Assess and Adjust Issues No-shows for appointments Original training program incompatible with schedules Revisions Reminders sent to students the day prior New training program implemented that spreads learning over a semester
  27. 27. Student Engagement  Hard to maintain when business is slow  Return to reasons why Peer Educators joined  To learn  To help others learn  To build skills and resume  To be a part of something from the beginning
  28. 28. Outreach Activities  Increase number of presentations to increase number of appointments  Parents & Families Weekend  Lion Ambassadors  Other student organizations  First year seminars
  29. 29. Collaborate and Partner  MoneyCounts: A Financial Literacy Series  Promote  Co-present
  30. 30. Growth  Currently have 9 Peer Educators  Staffing and space meets needs…for now  Have done tweaks to adjust to the unexpected but need overall program evaluation
  31. 31. Questions?
  32. 32. Thank you! Lauren Reiter Business Liaison Librarian Penn State University Libraries lmr29@psu.edu

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