New online cash course is now required for first year students to aid in managing finances

CashCourse is a new online-course to help first year students at Baldwin Wallace University learn how to better manage their finances. This program, which began in the spring 2018 semester, is now required of all students to complete in the second semester of their first year at BW. 

This program consists of three different modules, each of which teaches a new aspect of financial success. The different modules include financial goal setting, budget planning, and financial responsibility. The program offers free online financial education courses, articles, and resources on topics that students may relate to.  

CashCourse was created in 2007 by the National Empowerment for Financial Education (NEFE). CashCourse is also funded by NEFE, which began as the College for Financial Planning in 1972. When the college was sold, the proceeds from that sale went to fund NEFE’s current endowment, which allowed to CashCourse to be provided free of charge to students and schools.  

“This is being implemented at BW to help students become more financially literate.” said Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Trina Dobberstein  

While this program is only beginning its first semester at Baldwin Wallace University, it has received success at many other universities across the nation. CashCourse is used by more than 70,000 students in more than 900 schools—including small private colleges, large public universities and both two-year and four-year programs—in all 50 states. 

“I like that CashCourse is online and was written with the college-aged student in mind. I wanted something that students would feel like they could just do in their dorm. A lot of similar programs are written for older populations and then pushed into a college setting. CashCourse is tailored for college students,” said Amy Sikes from the College of William and Mary. 

Dean of First-Year Students Marc West was inspired to add CashCourse into the BW curriculum just this summer. He was introduced to this program at a summer conference and began work to implement this program at BW right away. 

“While some students are paying for their own college, many students do not have a lot of experience managing money. This course will help students become a more financially savvy in their first year of school,” said West 

By requiring students to take this program within their first year of school, this program helps students transition to college similarly to the First Year Experience Program. The First Year Experience Program is a class required by all first-year students about “intellectual curiosity, making campus connections and learning how to thrive in the BW community.” 

“This program is almost a continuation to the First Year Experience Program” said West 

While this program is designed for first year students, there are opportunities for this program to be utilized throughout a student’s college career. There are programs on CashCourse that discuss paying for college, which could be very helpful for a student in their later years at university. West plans on growing the program in the next few years.  

“Students can go back to CashCourse as juniors and seniors and look at the additional programs,” said West  

CashCourse will continue to grow as a program and on the Baldwin Wallace campus.