CSU hosts financial literacy series to help students understand finance

By: Beth Casteel

Oct. 29, 2018

Crowding around the auditorium of Ronald Berkman Hall, students from various majors gathered as speakers from Skylight Financial prepped for their hour-long presentation on financial literacy for college students.

Cleveland State University’s Financial Aid Office has created workshops to teach not only students, but faculty and staff, the financial literacy skills they can use not only while attending the university, but beyond.

The training, which will also be offered in the spring semester, covers a variety of important topics that include things like “Paying for College” and “Unraveling Credit Reports and Scores.”

The financial aid office designed the training to help students gain a better understanding of the financial aspect of college. The program’s website goes into further detail by explaining the office wants to “empower students” and help support them for “success beyond graduation.”

With this goal in mind, the office hosted its first Financial Literacy Series presentation, “Financial Wellness – Paying for College.”

The program, presented by Keven Prather and Michael Scerbin of Skylight Financials, Tuesday, Oct. 16 used slides to provide an overview of financial literacy.

While financial literacy is an overarching subject, the two presenters broke down the most important aspects of it. Kicking off the presentation, Prather explained what financial well-being is and ways to help financial goals.

Prather said financial well-being occurs when a person has control over not only their day-to-day finances but month-to-month as well. To have well-being, he went on to explain that students need to have a budget, understand their finances and categorize their expenses.

He said if students allocate expenses in a 50, 30 and 20 rule, in which 50 percent goes to living, 30 to wants and 20 to debts, they should have a better grasp on the things they can afford.

Following his presentation on basic budgeting and financing tips, Scerbin took over to explain the differences between good and bad debt, investing and how to build off of those money-saving techniques.

He explained that after students have the foundation of these financial concepts, they can then take those budget-saving tricks and transition them to the real world when it comes to paying off debt and getting “a leg up in the world.”

With the presentation being divided into learning how to budget and how investing helps further success, those in attendance were left with some final thoughts on how these concepts work.

While individual finances can be different, the presenters maintained that by following simple steps of setting a “smart goal” and making decisions to further success can only help in the long run.

The Financial Aid Office will continue this series on Nov. 6 with Skylight Financial from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Ronald Berkman Hall’s auditorium. The topic for that hour-long presentation will be “Smart Borrowing – Smart Repayment.”  



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