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Changing the College Culture #CounttheCost

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

According to a campus pulse survey conducted in 2018, Aquinas College students reported the lack of financial literacy as a major barrier to their success at Aquinas College. To address this reality, Dondreá Brown, Director of CORE has brought a financial culture movement to the Aquinas campus community through partnering with Huntington Bank, Chemical Bank, and 1428 Financial Wellness LLC. 1428 Financial Wellness LLC is an organization committed to building healthy financial behaviors in order to help others achieve financial freedom. These organizations have contributed to offering a six week workshop series each semester titled: My Money and Me. Over the past two years, Huntington Bank and Chemical Bank has made significant financial contributions to support the workshop scholarship fund.

Dondreá Brown assisting a student at the computer

During the My Money and Me workshops, students meet weekly to complete activities and projects to increase their financial literacy in a fun and safe environment. Since fall of 2018, 217 students at Aquinas College have participated in the workshops. Students have reported increasing in the money in their savings accounts, paying off student loan debt, and mastering the art of building and managing a budget each semester.

Dondreá Brown teaching in the classroom with students

On average, students have also applied for 10 additional scholarships/grants. Additionally, 92% of students reported feeling more confident about their financial future while college. A workshop participant reported, “My goal was to save $1000 because I know I like to shop and eat out so I kept the goal low. However, this summer I really budgeted...and was able to save $3000 while paying off some things and having a great summer”. Another student said “I have now paid off one student loan and I am putting a good dent in another. I never would have prioritized my money like this if it wasn't for your guidance”.

Students raising their hands

Financial freedom is not a goal, it’s a lifestyle. Our charge for fall 2019 is simple. We will spread the knowledge that empowers students to move from wanting to be debt free to living a lifestyle of financial freedom. Who will you tell about this opportunity?

If you would like to partner with 1428 Financial Wellness contact Dondreá Brown -

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