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Managing money 101

March 14, 2011

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Managing money 101

Joined by Baylor President Ken Starr and Student Body President Michael Wright, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott held a news conference Jan. 27 on the Baylor campus to bring attention to a major challenge facing today's college students: credit cards and credit card debt.

Under a recently enacted Texas law, state colleges and universities must educate their students about personal financial management, an area in which Baylor -- as noted by the Attorney General's office -- is ahead of the curve. The Attorney General's Office developed the money management materials -- which Baylor includes in its new student orientation program, as well as in several other areas -- to help higher education institutions satisfy the new legal requirements and educate students about smart financial decision making.

Speaking at Baylor's Mayborn Museum Complex, Abbott discussed how the training materials will help students at Baylor and other universities avoid financial problems right after graduation.

"High-interest credit card debt is an increasingly burdensome problem for Texas college students," he said. "Like educators, parents and students, the Attorney General's Office is committed to a Texas that offers its youngest generations a bright future that is ripe with economic opportunity. The 'Money Crunch' DVD that the Attorney General's Office developed will help educate college students about their personal finances so that they start their careers on solid financial footing."

"Attorney General Abbott has long been a vigorous supporter of improving financial literacy among today's college students," Starr said. "We [as universities] also need to show some initiative ourselves, and Baylor has. We believe in financial literacy for all of our students in helping our young men and women come to financial sophistication early on. Indeed, it begins Day One. Orientation for new students at Baylor University begins essentially with a crash course in financial responsibility."

Starr noted several of Baylor's initiatives, including:

  • Educating students during orientation about unwanted credit card offers and providing them with a service that helps them "opt out" of these offers filling up their campus mailboxes.
  • Protecting students from aggressive credit card companies, which are not permitted to set up on Baylor's campus and solicit students with unwanted credit card offers.
  • Offering the Attorney General's entertaining and informative "Money Crunch" video, which is available to students through a link on Baylor's Student Financial Services website. The video also runs continuously in the lobby of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  • Providing students with a link to Baylor University's "CashCourse," which offers valuable tips about financial responsibility during and after college, from basics such as budgeting and financial planning to how to make informed decisions about insurance and job offers.

"This is a very important subject for our students and their parents," Starr said. "We thank Attorney General Abbott for joining us here at Baylor today and for his consistent efforts to help college students across the great state of Texas avoid the trap of burdensome debt."

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