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NWTC wins national financial literacy award from OneMain Financial

Casey M Fryda

Monday November 13, 2017
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is the first recipient of a new national award for helping students manage their finances to stay in college.
 
Female student participates in Game of Life during NWTC Money Smart WeekOfficials will visit NWTC at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13 to mark the OneMain Financial Community College Financial Empowerment Award and meet with students who have participated in individual coaching, scholarship writing workshops, budgeting and poverty exercises and more.
 
The award is a partnership between OneMain Financial and Achieving the Dream. It provides $25,000 to recognize a community college in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network for outstanding achievement and innovation in developing and scaling effective financial empowerment programs. Financial barriers are often cited as the reason students drop out of college without gaining a degree.
 
The award honors NWTC’s “outstanding achievement and innovation in developing and scaling effective financial empowerment programs that promote financial literacy and improve student success, both inside and outside of the classroom.”
 
The selection committee also praised NWTC’s holistic approach to financial empowerment strategies that
  • actively engage college leadership, faculty, and staff;
  • effectively leverage local community partnerships and existing resources; and
  • impact student outcomes financially, thus leading to higher retention.
 
The selection committee also recognized NWTC’s “culture of student success demonstrated with four years of disaggregated data.”
 
NWTC President Dr. Jeff Rafn said the Financial Wellness Center meshes well with students’ goals in going to college: to have a better quality of life. “Students have come to realize that only by achieving a post-secondary credential can they lift themselves and their families out of a life of poverty,” he said. “NWTC provides financial counseling and planning services to students so that by the time they leave college they are better able to address unexpected financial expenses and create a more stable financial environment for themselves and family.”
 
“OneMain is committed to strengthening the financial wellness of students attending Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and within colleges in the Achieving the Dream network,” said Trish Weaver, director of Philanthropy for OneMain. “Through this grant we are pleased to assist NWTC in expanding its financial wellness offerings and developing best practices.”
 
The Financial Wellness Center was created shortly after the college created a Student Emergency Fund, designed to help students get past unexpected financial crisis (car breakdown, job loss, large medical bills, etc.) so they continue earning a degree, making them more financially stable. Staff had interviewed students who don’t return to college and realized financial literacy, to help students find and manage resources for long-term success, would increase retention.
 
The results were telling:
  • Among students who received Student Emergency Funds but no financial counseling, 68.54% enrolled at NWTC after receiving funds. When those students also received one-on-one Financial Coaching, 80.11 enrolled the following term.
  • Of students who received only Student Emergency Funds, 30.78% have earned a credential. Of those who also got financial coaching, 37.2% have earned a credential.
  • The student loan default rate dropped from 16.9% to 15.7%.

Some facts about NWTC’s students

9,000 undergraduate students
37% of our students (about 3,300 students) get Pell grants.
About 80% receive some form of financial aid.
71% of our students attend part-time.
43% of our students are 26 or older.
 

Some facts about the Financial Wellness Center

More than 4,000 students served
More than 500 students met with a financial coach
More than 1,000 students attended financial workshops, classroom visits and events
 

About OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial (NYSE: OMF) is America’s premier consumer finance company, offering responsible and transparent personal loan products for over 100 years. The company provides personalized, best-in-class service at their 1,600+ branches, as well as through their internet lending division, iLoan, which gives customers the ability to complete the loan process entirely online. OneMain has more than 10,000 team members, located throughout 44 states, who are dedicated to serving and supporting the communities where they live and work. For additional information, please visit OneMainFinancial.com.
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