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How you can help students experiencing financial stress

MSU Denver’s $AFE Program is all about empowering students with financial education and increasing retention rates.

August 28, 2018

Students at Financial aid help deskKeeping up with student-loan debt and expenses is an almost universal challenge for Metropolitan State University of Denver students. Some navigate these financial hurdles by not purchasing the books and materials they feel they can’t afford; others work longer hours at their day jobs, even if it cuts into study time.

Financial distress can even lead to dropping out or “stopping out” from school. This often means students face the job market with student-loan debt and no degree to enhance their employability and earnings.

The Students Accessing Financial Empowerment Program ($AFE) can help.

$AFE is a collaborative of MSU Denver faculty, staff, students and alumni working to provide the entire University community with actionable strategies and resources for financial empowerment. The program provides workshops on student-debt repayment and other financial-planning topics that can be presented to classes or campus groups. 

MSU Denver students are among many in their need to better manage their finances. The Financial Capability Study found that 74 percent of U.S. millennials believe their financial knowledge is above average to high; however, only 23 percent could accurately answer three questions measuring financial literacy.

Additionally, when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation conducted a study that asked former students why they dropped out, 54 percent of respondents said they needed to work and make money; 31 percent said they couldn’t afford the tuition and fees.

The good news: Studies also show that involvement with faculty and staff — as well as the availability of programs such as $AFE — can significantly reduce financial stress. Getting $AFE into your vocabulary, or into your classroom, can help students connect with much-needed financial resources and keep them on campus.

In addition to providing financial education and scholarship information directly to students, $AFE Program representatives can come to your classroom to help students get on the path to financial empowerment. Presentations can be integrated into your syllabus, and Don’t Cancel That Class takes advantage of otherwise-canceled classes by allowing $AFE Program representatives to present helpful financial information to students in place of simply sending them home.

Contact Haley Kline, initiatives manager for the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, for more information on how you can be an ally in helping students find financial empowerment.


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