The Niagara University campus was filled with excitement on Friday August 24th as 400 freshman students arrived as part of "Move-In" day 2018. For many of these students, it will also mean a big responsibility as they will now have to take charge of their own personal expenses.
New students at N.U. go through an orientation program called "NU Beginnings" which includes sessions on financial literacy to help students avoid spending themselves into problems.
"We view financial health in the same way that we view mental health and physical health," explained Christopher Sheffield, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.
Sheffield said students with severe financial problems are more likely to suffer academically in the classroom.
Among the topics covered as part the financial literacy curriculum for new students:
-How to make a budget and stick to it
-Making wise purchasing decisions and understanding the difference between wanting something and needing it
-Textbook options such as buying used versions or taking part in programs where you can rent textbooks.
-Services Niagara University offers that can help students that are struggling with money and debt.
A large emphasis is placed on the dangers of credit cards, explained Christopher Sheffield. "It is easy to get in over your head. We know credit card companies are aggressively targeting college students."
Experts recommend that college students keep records of all their credit card purchases. It is also very important that a student pay on-time and not miss due-dates because the impact to a credit history could last long after a student leaves college."
"In the past, we knew that it might be a car loan or mortgage. Now, we are seeing, very commonly, that renters are asking for credit history. Employers, in some cases, are asking for credit histories. So, it can have some effect on employability. While students are more savvy, we've had to respond to the changing environment," added Sheffield.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his report.