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First Smart Money Week held at UWRF teaches useful skills

October 18, 2007

The first annual UW-River Falls Smart Money Week was put on Oct. 15-18 in the University Center (UC). The First-Year Experience office, Residence Life, Career Services, Financial Aid and Accounts Receivable partnered to present the daily sessions.

“The idea for smart money week was actually a statewide initiative called ‘Money Smart Wisconsin,’” Sarah Egerstrom, director of the First-Year Experience, said.

Because the “Money Smart Wisconsin” events occurred last week, UWRF decided to hold its own series of events this week so they would not conflict with the homecoming events last week.

Egerstrom said that she, along with student intern Tiffany Dayton and others, have been working a few hours each week since early September to plan the marketing and promotional materials.

The events began on Monday with the “Ultimate Money Skills: Scholars, Dollars, Budgets & Bills” session at 6:27 p.m. in the UC Ballroom. According to the UWRF Smart Money Week Web site, this event was designed to help “students recognize that the choices they make about money while in college can have a direct impact on their future financial success and gives them the information they need to make better decisions going forward.”

Events continued Tuesday, with the “E-billing,” “Money Smarts” and “Credit Smarts” sessions. UWRF sophomore Dana Bauer attended these events and said she found them very helpful and interesting.

“I felt it [the ‘Money Smarts’ session] helped me learn how to distribute my funds more wisely,” she said. “I also thought the credit session was quite helpful because I don’t have a credit card and didn’t know much about credit and interest rates.”

Egerstrom said that she thinks it was important and necessary to hold the Smart Money Week events at UWRF. 

“A student’s ability to manage their money and spending habits has an impact on their success as a student,” she said.

Other sessions throughout the week included a Career Fair on Wednesday hosted by Career Services and “Financial Assistance: One-on-One with a Financial Aid Counselor,” an event held in the Falls Room of the UC where students could ask questions regarding financial aid options and paying for college.

In addition to these events, the film “Maxed Out,” a story about debt in the United States, was shown on the campus movie channel all week.

“These events were really helpful overall,” Bauer, a business administration major, said. “Money management skills will help me when I move out on my own, and when I look for a job in the business field.”

Egerstrom appeared positive about the Smart Money Week events and said she hoped to partner with other organizations again to create events geared towards informing students about important and relevant topics.

“I would like to continue this type of co-curricular programming in the future,” she said, “and identify additional partners across campus so we can provide an even broader array of session topics.”