FIU is helping its students bank smart, manage debt and build financial confidence through a new initiative that includes an interactive digital tool and financial wellness coaches.
The university has partnered with financial wellness company iGrad to offer its artificial intelligence-powered financial literacy platform to FIU’s 58,000 students, as well as alumni, faculty, and staff.
Currently used by more than 600 colleges and universities, iGrad is already available to the FIU community. Using artificial intelligence, the platform personalizes financial literacy education.
New users take a financial wellness quiz, which helps the platform customize their dashboard to their personal financial situation and needs. It recommends courses on topics such as budgeting, buying or leasing a car, using a Health Savings Account, “borrowing smart,” assessing insurance needs, finding a dream career, avoiding or paying off debt and even retirement planning.
Arijana Zagic, 19, a senior criminal justice major in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, started using iGrad as part of a digital badge.
“I feel more confident and in control of my financial situation,” Zagic said after completing several iGrad modules on financial aid, student loans, and emergency funds. “It gave me a lot of actionable tips that I can use every day.”
The FIU Financial Wellness program also includes financial wellness coaching, focused on providing one-on-one guidance to help students access financial and educational resources and set and achieve goals.
“Our financial wellness program is in direct response to students’ need for solution-based programming in this area. We’re giving them the confidence, but also the tools. It is really key to student success,” said Kimberly Noy, program manager for academic and student affairs working with the FIU Financial Wellness Program.
Thirty-nine percent of students surveyed by MagnifyMoney in 2018 said they have considered stopping college before graduating so that their financial situation wouldn’t get worse.
“The university is emphasizing student financial wellness education to support our students holistically, recognizing that finances are an important contributing factor to the overall wellness of our students, both now and after graduation,” said Bridgette Cram, FIU assistant vice president for academic and student affairs.
Students and alumni can access iGrad, by visiting fiu.igrad.com and signing in using their FIU credentials.