Shippensburg and Harrisburg, PA (November 5, 2019) – Student loans are just one of the expenses graduating college seniors need to consider when budgeting for post-graduation life. Day-to-day bills from things like housing and utilities, cell phone data plans, and gym memberships add to the list, and without proper planning, can quickly take starting salary surpluses into the red.
To prepare – and plan for – this type of situation, Shippensburg University students will participate in a Financial Reality Fair sponsored by PSECU – Pennsylvania’s anytime, anywhere digital credit union - on November 7. Open to all students and held on campus in the Multipurpose Room of the university’s Ceddia Union Building (CUB) from 3:30-5 p.m., the event simulates a real-life scenario during which students must make money-smart decisions and lifestyle changes to remain within a set budget based on their intended career fields.
“We collaborated with Shippensburg University to hold a Financial Reality Fair on campus earlier this year, and we’re thrilled that they’ve invited us back to continue the learning experience for their students. The Financial Reality Fair is designed to give students a clearer understanding of the financial environment they’ll encounter after graduation – something that we believe is crucial for them as they strive to reach their full potential,” said PSECU President George Rudolph. “We look forward to offering this financial management and personal budgeting simulation opportunity to help prepare Shippensburg University students for future success.”
With the assistance of volunteers from PSECU and Shippensburg 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.
When registering for the Financial Reality Fair, each Shippensburg University 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.