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UNI Financial Aid offers ‘Live Like a Student’ course


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“Live Like a Student,” a financial literacy course offered since 2010, will start Feb. 20.

The course, which is offered through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, is available in September and October in the fall semester and February in the spring. This semester’s course will be offered at various times Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Classes are open to all students from freshmen to graduate students and the course is free and non-credit.

The course was created after the Board of Regents (BOR) advised state universities to look at how they could approach the increase of student debt in 2008.

“UNI established the ‘Live Like a Student’ course to help students become aware of their financial situations, including student borrowing,” said Jennifer Sullivan, a financial literary outreach counselor. “Over the years, the course has expanded to address a variety of financial topics, helping students better prepare for their financial future.”

The class consists of 50 minute sections covering topics such as personal budgeting, investing, saving, credit, credit cards, financial aid and identity protection.

“I believe it is a great opportunity for students to learn important financial information that can have a significant impact on their future,” said Colleen Sullivan, a financial aid counselor.

Additionally, students participate in class discussions, watch relevant videos, complete hands-on activities and evaluate their personal spending habits by completing a spending log. Aside from this, information is given for resources offered in and out of class, including strong connections with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Haley Flores, a financial literacy coordinator, is one of the instructors for the course.

“I love teaching this class. It’s a great, relaxed opportunity for me to personally connect with students, share my knowledge and provide an open environment for questions,” Flores said. “Believe it or not, I get pretty passionate about financial literacy, and students can feel that as they listen to me discuss the ‘Live Like a Student’ content.”

Flores went on to discuss the value of enrolling in a financial literacy course while in college.

“Many of my friends took financial classes post-college, and all of them tell me they wish they would have taken financial literacy classes during, or even before, attending college,” Flores said. “Finances are super important, and I honestly believe everyone should take a class like this sometime in their lives.”

“Students can expect a fun, engaging atmosphere, where they will learn a lot of relevant financial information,” Jennifer Sullivan said. “The instructors are friendly and knowledgeable — out-of-class tasks are minimal.”

Students also receive a “Live Like a Student” T-shirt, and one student may receive a scholarship for $500.

Jennifer Sullivan said she hopes students take away important information about their finances.

“To give a few specifics, we want UNI students to see the value in budgeting,” Jennifer Sullivan said. “Understand and minimize loans, recognize the pros and cons of credit and foresee the benefits of saving for the future. We strive to teach students critical financial knowledge in hopes that they apply the classroom knowledge to their personal lives and attain the financial future they deserve.”

Students can register for the course through the UNI Financial Aid website:

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The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa
UNI Financial Aid offers ‘Live Like a Student’ course