On college campuses across the U.S., young adults are busy reviewing their class schedules, buying textbooks and settling in new dorm rooms. Concerns about paying for the fall semester’s tuition may have been alleviate by a student loan, but how many pursuing a college education are thinking three or four years down the line when those loans need to be repaid?
Recent statistics are alarming: 43 million Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year. And with rising academic costs, those debt figures will only increase.
One of the ways Transformance is working to help students better manage their student loan debt is with “College Counts: Securing Assets Through Financial Education,” or C2:SAFE, a unique financial education initiative with Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) and Dallas Women’s Foundation. The program is designed for DCCCD students – specifically women seeking an advanced degree – and offers confidential financial counseling, financial webinars and workshops, and a matched IDA savings account (for those who qualify).
Each week, Transformance outreach counselors visit one of seven DCCCD campuses. Students have an opportunity to learn about basic credit and money management, how to pay down their student loan debt, and how to save for the future. The education and coaching extends beyond students; college staff have also engaged in Transformance and benefitted from the various services the agency offers.
“[DCCCD staff] are excited about us helping their students,” said Regina Blackwell, a Transformance outreach counselor. “They see students learning about finances and they are encouraged.”
In 2015, nearly 700 students (70 percent women) connected with the program, and more than 250 enrolled in a Transformance line of service (i.e., debt management program, AIM matched savings). The program is funded by the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which seeks to improve the condition of women and those in women-led households in the greater Dallas area.
C2:SAFE is a great example of how different organizations can collaborate and find a common mission. Transformance strives to empower individuals and families to achieve financial freedom, to move people from poverty to self-sufficiency. The Dallas Women's Foundation invests in women and girls and empowers women's philanthropy to build a better world. Together, this partnership improves the condition of women, raising individuals and families out of poverty through education, improved financial management skills and workforce development. With more than 72,000 students enrolled at DCCCD, C2:SAFE is making an impact within the Dallas community.
Are you a DCCCD student? Learn more about how the C2:SAFE program can help stabilize your financial future.
Interested in starting a similar financial education program on your campus? Email us and let’s see what difference we can make.