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For Immediate Release
April 14, 2010

For more information, contact
Janet Roy
(585) 395-2267
jroy@brockport.edu

The College at Brockport Earns National Financial Literacy Leadership Award

Press Release Photo John R. Halstead, PhD, President; Anne Barton, Reg. Dir.for Bus. Dev. (NSLP); Scott Atkinson, Asst. VP for Enrollment Mgmt.; Paul Mittelhammer, VP of Bus. Dev. (NSLP); Katy Wilson, VP for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Brockport, NY — The College at Brockport, State University of New York, has been awarded this year’s Financial Literacy Leadership Award from the National Student Loan Program (NSLP) — one of only three colleges nationwide to earn this distinction. The award recognizes higher education institutions that provide outstanding financial literacy education to their students and was presented to President John R. Halstead, PhD, at a ceremony on April 14.

“We’re pleased to recognize Brockport’s commitment to helping students learn how to make sound financial decisions,” said NSLP President Randy Heesacker. “Their comprehensive program is a great model for other campuses to use and we are delighted they are partnering with NSLP.” Brockport received the award because its financial literacy program achieved several milestones.

Program impact. Brockport reached an estimated 1,100 students over a five-month period by adapting their financial literacy program to reach students in their venues — in class, residence halls, campus workshops, and online. This increased accessibility. They also coached parents with the same financial skills to help reinforce what their students were learning on campus.

Collaborative, campus-wide approach. Brockport executed their program through the cooperative efforts of several campus offices — Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admissions, First-year Experience, Student Support Services, Residential Life/Learning Communities, Campus Life, and TRiO. This collaborative approach helped reach more students.

Innovative methods. Brockport extended its limited financial literacy resources by using NSLP’s accredited financial counselors to teach money management skills, training volunteers to teach and mentor other students, and using Financial Literacy Online to supplement in-person training.

Brockport’s peer mentor program was especially successful. After training 55 junior and senior undergraduate students on basic budgeting techniques, the students taught the skills to nearly 700 freshmen students. Not only did Brockport extend its resources to reach more students, but the mentors became highly-credible, passionate instructors for their peers. “The training opened my eyes to my financial future. We don’t get this training in any of our college classes, yet it is one of the most important pieces of knowledge I’ll take with me when I graduate. It will help me throughout my entire life,” said Elena Chmielowiec, a Brockport senior.

“NSLP was a critical element in the success of our program,” said Scott Atkinson, assistant vice president of enrollment management. “They provided accredited financial counselors to teach students, helped organize student programs, and gave us materials and online financial literacy courses that students could easily access.

Short-term, Brockport wants to see students borrowing fewer college loans and having less credit card debt. “Longer term, we think students who are adept at managing money are less likely to have financial problems that can cause them to drop out of college,” said Atkinson. “We want to remove that barrier to graduation.”

Ultimately, the College’s goal is to shorten the average time to degree completion for students from five or six years to approximately four years. It is hoped that Brockport’s financial education program will show students the long-term cost of earnings lost during those extra years in college and the higher costs that borrowing additional student loans creates.

The Brockport program ended the school year with “Money Management Days” held on April 13 and 14 in conjunction with National Financial Literacy Month, and which featured four financial management seminars and free credit checks on the Brockport campus and at the downtown METROCENTER. The event culminated with a financial literacy challenge game, complete with prizes to attract and engage students.

For practical advice about establishing an effective financial literacy program download NSLP’s “Financial Literacy NOW: Why Students Can’t Wait.” The National Student Loan Program (NSLP) www.nslp.org is a private, nonprofit corporation serving higher education. NSLP is well known for helping college students with financial literacy education and for preventing defaults on their student loans. NSLP is one of the nation’s major student loan guaranty agencies. More about NSLP’s financial literacy products and services can be found at www.nslp.org.

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The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu

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