East Stroudsburg and Harrisburg, PA (September 20, 2019) – Congratulations, you’ve graduated college and rented a one-bedroom apartment of your own! Did you budget extra money to buy furniture? How about payment for your Internet and cell phone bills? Don’t forget, you’ll need money to buy food to stock the fridge and clothes to wear to your new job, too.
These are the types of scenarios that East Stroudsburg University (ESU) students will be faced with during participation in a Financial Reality Fair sponsored by PSECU – Pennsylvania’s anytime, anywhere digital credit union - on September 25. Open to all students and held on campus in the university’s Science and Technology Center from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., the event simulates a real-life, post-graduation situation during which students must make money-smart decisions and lifestyle changes to remain within a set budget based on their intended career fields.
“The Financial Reality Fair is designed to give students a clearer understanding of the financial environment they’ll encounter after graduation – something we believe is critical for them to reach their full potential,” said PSECU President George Rudolph. “We’re excited to help prepare these university students for success by offering this financial management and personal budgeting simulation opportunity in conjunction with East Stroudsburg University.”
“At the Financial Reality Fair, students will participate in a salary/net worth simulation based on their career choice,” said ESU Director of Career and Workforce Development Sharone Jones. “This financial activity will offer a reality check that highlights salary expectations, net pay, and expenses.”
With the assistance of volunteers from PSECU and East Stroudsburg University, the Financial Reality Fair will be a highly educational experience for participants. Students receive a budgeting worksheet with salary information based on their intended career and level of education. They then visit a series of booths to learn about and make choices pertaining to living expenses, from entertainment to insurance. To end the activity with a balanced budget, students are encouraged to revisit each booth as many times as needed.
“The Financial Reality Fair is a great interactive learning opportunity for students. It’s comprised of 15 booths, all representing unique aspects of personal finance, like housing, transportation, meals, or pets,” said PSECU Consumer Education Strategist Sara Weiser. “Participants visit the booths and interact with the staff at each to select options that fit their individual needs but don’t overstrain their finances. After they’ve made their way around the fair, the goal is for the students to achieve a balanced budget or, better yet, to have extra money to save.”
Earlier this year, PSECU hosted Financial Reality Fairs at Shippensburg University and the Harrisburg Campus of HACC. Of the 308 total participants, 267 students completed surveys about their experience. They were asked questions about skills they acquired, thoroughness and clarity of information provided, and likelihood of event recommendation to peers. The survey results were overwhelmingly positive with each question receiving an average score of at least 4.5 out of a maximum score of 5.
“The college years are a time when students receive valuable academic lessons in the classroom that will prepare for their future careers. College is also a great opportunity for them to gather information and skills that will support their well-being as working professionals outside of the office. Just as they’ll need a solid skillset to reach their full earning potential on the job, they will need money management skills to ensure that the paychecks they earn are spent wisely. That’s what our Financial Reality Fair aims to do,” said Victoria O’Rourke, Manager of the PSECU Financial Education Center at East Stroudsburg University. “At the event, we’ll provide students with a real-life simulation that will help them fully understand their finances and challenge them to get them ready for important money management decisions that come after college.”
When registering for the Financial Reality Fair, each ESU student will also be provided with a giveaway toolkit of resources and financial education materials to help them as they continue working toward financial success.
About East Stroudsburg University
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the scenic Pocono Mountains and adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Founded in 1893, ESU is one of 14 university members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and has a current enrollment of more than 6,400. The University offers 58 undergraduate degree programs and 21 graduate degree programs and two doctoral programs. The surrounding community offers options for suburban, small city, or country living all within a less than two-hour drive to both New York City and Philadelphia.
Opened in 1934, PSECU was founded by 22 ordinary people who pooled $90 and made an extraordinary commitment to each other: To create a financial institution where collective resources benefit all members. Today, PSECU continues that legacy as a leading full-service credit union managing more than $5.5 billion in assets and offering its over 450,000 members convenient anytime, anywhere digital banking options. PSECU was named a 2019 Best-In-State Credit Union by Forbes Magazine. For more information about PSECU, visit psecu.com. View our Community Report Card to learn how we contribute to the greater good.