Loyola University Chicago has been awarded a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) to develop a financial education program for graduate and undergraduate students. The grant was awarded as part of the groundbreaking CGS best practice program, Enhancing Student Financial Education, co-sponsored by TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider. The program comes at a time when public funding for higher education has declined, and the costs associated with higher education continue to rise.

Loyola will work in collaboration with CGS and TIAA-CREF to design a program that prepares students to play an active role in managing their personal finances and making informed decisions about saving, spending, and borrowing. The project team will collaborate with a number of Loyola’s divisions, offices, and student groups on campus to employ innovative, interactive, and creative pedagogical techniques, and promote financial education activities through ongoing professional development programming.

Samuel Attoh, Loyola’s Graduate School dean and principal investigator of the project, sees this as a welcome opportunity to promote current financial education at Loyola for multiple beneficiaries across the University community. “It will provide our students with broad and open access to CGS-developed financial educational tools and resources, and establish a firm foundation for financial management, academic success, and asset building in the future,” he said.

“We are very grateful for the grant support from CGS,” said John Pelissero, provost at Loyola University Chicago. “It will allow the University to enhance its ongoing efforts to educate our students about the essential components of financing one’s college education.”

CGS President Debra W. Stewart lauded the winning proposal, noting that the project addresses an area of leading concern for graduate deans, according to an annual survey of CGS members.

“In collaboration with 14 other awardees and 19 affiliate partners, Loyola is stepping up to help students prepare for the financial challenges of college life and beyond,” Stewart said.

“By working together, universities and the private sector are uniquely well-positioned to provide students with the tools and resources they need to effectively manage their financial futures,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF. “Working with CGS, we are proud to partner with Loyola to help put students on a path toward fiscal responsibility and financial well-being.”

By surveying and measuring the effectiveness of each grantee’s programming, the project will enable CGS to develop best practices for improving financial education among college students. These findings will be made widely available to the higher education community through interactive tools over the next two years.

The awardees selection was made through a competitive proposal process involving an independent selection committee of experts in higher education reforms and financial education. Proposal evaluation took into consideration the innovations each university will develop to engage and address the needs of students and considered factors such as degree level, field of study, chosen career path, and student demographics. Institutions that submitted proposals were asked to provide detailed plans for using online tools, social media, digital solutions, and face-to-face interaction to foster student participation.

More information about the project is available at the Enhancing Student Financial Education website.