UMA Launches MoneyWise Program to Increase Student Financial Literacy

Just in time for April Financial Literacy Month, program will focus on student financial awareness

AUGUSTA, ME – This spring, as part of a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant, the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) will begin offering expanded services to increase student financial literacy. The $149,000 award will allow the Maine institution to focus on three areas:

  1. personal financial literacy instruction,
  2. strengthened financial aid award education, and
  3. default prevention services.

“Managing financial resources is an essential skill for college students of all ages, yet many students have not developed that expertise,” said Jonathan Henry, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, and coordinator of the grant. “Leveraging financial aid resources requires an understanding of the long-term implications.  Without proper information about financial aid options and money management skills, students often can find themselves with debt issues upon graduation,” Vice President Henry continued. “This program seeks to address these and other financial issues students face.”

Be Money Wise logoBeginning this spring, UMA new and continuing students will receive specialized financial coaching, have access to a financial awareness website, and be able to attend MoneyWise educational workshops for free or at no cost to them. The various services are being delivered by UMA, the Finance Authority of Maine, University Credit Union, Maine Educational Opportunity Center, and Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC). New Ventures Maine (NVME), a statewide community outreach program of UMA, focused on helping Maine people succeed and achieve economic security for themselves and their families, is taking a lead role in delivering and/or coordinating the various products and services.

“This program plays an important role in helping students leverage all funding sources that will reduce their overall educational costs and also ensuring students can manage their loans when they graduate,” said Rebecca Wyke, UMA President. “We want our students to succeed upon graduation and part of that success can be contingent on how wisely they have financed their education.”

A major component of the program are the workshops, which cover topics such as planning for college and living expenses, evaluating financial aid packages, accessing other financial resources, understanding student loans, and connecting one’s education to future career goals and potential earnings. Workshops are held at UMA locations across Maine, and several are also available online.

The average age of a UMA students is 33, with 60% of the student body in the 25+ age range. Nearly 80% of the students are financing their education without parental support, and the students’ average income is $21,542. Nearly half of UMA students are first-generation college students; 77% receive some kind of financial aid, and 72% receive a Pell Grant in support of their education.

UMA is located on two campuses and delivers courses and services at nine outreach locations located throughout Maine serving approximately 5,500 students annually, and nearly half of them complete the majority of their coursework online.

Learn more about our MoneyWise program »

UMA transforms the lives of students of every age and background across the State of Maine and beyond through access to high-quality distance and on-site education, excellence in student support, civic engagement, and professional and liberal arts programs.