SOAR, the Depot and Residence Life are hosting a small group Chapel called Financial Education and Stewardship. The goal is to educate students about financial aid, student debt and the importance of money management.
Director of Student Advocacy Services, Shannon Kaczmarek, leads the Chapel program, which strives to help students learn more about how to handle money throughout their college years and into their adult lives.
“We should make available a class offered to first time students that will teach the value of learning how to balance money and prepare you for your future,” Kaczmarek said.
It’s important to not take on too much debt, and if you must use loans, don’t overshoot your boundaries. Student loans are very useful and can greatly help those who can’t afford school on their own. Loans can also destroy your credit and ruin your financial life if you’re not careful. The new program was implemented this semester with the first official meeting two weeks ago.
Kaczmarek broke down the program and said, “I think I learn something every time I go. It counts as a Small Group Chapel and you get a Quest credit for attending. A lot of what we’re trying to do is teach kids how to manage money better.” Dr. Johnathan Stewart, professor of finance, will discuss ‘Happiness and Money Myths’ at the Chapel this semester. The Chapel lessons selection varies from budgeting to anticipating what happens after college and how to handle loans and bills. Kaczmarek said, “Most of my peers are so swamped with student debt; they can’t afford a house or have to get a loan from their parents.”
Katherine Bisson, SOAR coordinator, began attending the SOAR chapel along with Kaczmarek and coworker Christian Travis.
“I kind of just go to connect with the students. Shannon and Christian lead the chapel,” Bisson said. “Anyone is welcome to attend.”
Bissom, who was considering writing a thesis titled, ‘How does financial stress affect a student, both academically and mentally?’ said she believes that more levels of stress, especially about finances, can cause depression, anxiety and many other unwelcome consequences. A substitute class or even a conjoined class with Cornerstone would make SOAR more well-known around campus. Making students aware that they don’t have to worry about finances because they can learn about it could potentially set students apart and better equip them for their future.