College students aren’t typically required to take courses in personal budgeting or money management. But in an effort to promote skills like smart spending, informed use of credit, and the benefits of regular saving and investing, Lakeland has officially opened the doors of a full-service, student-run credit union branch on its Kirtland campus.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for Thursday, January 16 at 5:30 p.m. in building A across from the bookstore.
Designed and operated in partnership with Cardinal Community Credit Union, the new office will serve as the centerpiece of the new disciplined and integrated, financial-literacy education program at the college.
Lakeland now joins Lake Catholic High School as one of two educational institutions in Lake County that house a full-service credit union.
Working under the supervision of a Cardinal employee, Lakeland students will staff the campus office. The project is the collaborative brainchild of Cardinal CEO, Christine Blake, and Lakeland President Morris W. Beverage Jr., E.D.M.
“The timing could not be better,” said Beverage. “Students who are exposed to financial education in college are better prepared for life outside of the classroom. Learning how to manage their finances early on is a critical part of their long-term success.”
Blake, who has previously taught accounting classes at Lakeland, has trailblazed and forged partnerships with area schools and colleges to help foster greater financial independence among young residents. As Blake maintains, “the student branch program delivers significant benefits to all involved. The students learn real-world skills in a positive, safe environment. The school gets a boost in meeting state standards and benchmarks without additional training or resources.”
Student-loan default rates and credit card debt among college students throughout the country has many financial organizations – and colleges like Lakeland – concerned.
To address the issue at the local level, the Mentor-based financial institution will work with the college’s financial aid office to develop programs that coincide with Financial Aid Awareness Week to be held this February. Students will receive hands-on, money-management lessons in the form of games and role-playing scenarios.
“Our community benefits when we can cultivate a new generation of savvy, money-smart savers,” said Beverage. “They’ll not only help to stimulate the economy, but through the process, they’ll learn to successfully manage their lives by making responsible financial choices.”
As part of the partnership, Cardinal has also agreed to make significant contributions to The Lakeland Foundation and award four scholarships per year to qualified Lakeland students.
About Lakeland Community College Lakeland Community College educates more than 13,000 credit-seeking students annually. Founded by a vote of the people of Lake County, Ohio in 1967, the college is just 25 minutes northeast of Cleveland and sits on 400 rolling, wooded acres in Kirtland. The recently opened Holden University Center of Lakeland now offers bachelor’s and graduate degrees from partnering institutions. The college also offers Continuing Education courses for lifelong learners in the community.
About Cardinal Community Credit Union Cardinal Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative founded in 1953. It serves all who live, work, worship, or attend school in Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Ashtabula Counties. For its work in financial literacy education, Cardinal was the recipient of the 2012 Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, presented by the Ohio Credit Union League.