According to the College Board, the average amount of debt college graduates face is $28,400, a reality that leaves many students feeling pressured about financials and the economy after graduation.
In an effort to combat this issue, Generation: Financial Knowledge Development (GenFKD), a national nonprofit organization established in 2013, aims to educate millennials who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees on how to be financially literate.
The club is coming to Binghamton University. According to its new president, Phoebe Clark, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, she hopes to get the new chapter chartered by the Student Association. Clark wrote in an email that GenFKD’s fundamental belief is that college students have to feel financially prepared and have entrepreneurial readiness to positively contribute to the economy and save it from socioeconomic inequalities.
“GenFKD is trying to prepare millennials for the outside world, whatever that may mean,” Clark wrote in an email. ”From personal finance to career readiness to purpose building, the [organization] is just trying to support younger generations and help them build a better space for themselves to exist post grad.”
Clark wrote financial literacy is something that many BU students may struggle with, which is why she thinks it’s critical to create an organization like GenFKD at the University.
“They don’t know what’s going on in the world around them, or what they’re doing after college, or even just how to manage themselves on campus now,” she wrote.
For Stephen Perez, vice president of GenFKD and a sophomore double-majoring in political science and history, feeling financially prepared is important to his college education. As a first-generation college student, Perez wrote in an email that he did not feel financially equipped to navigate through financing his undergraduate degree, and had no family members or relatives to turn to for advice. Perez wrote he was able to learn valuable skills about receiving funds and taking out loans from friends and fellow students, who helped him become financially literate.
“Through research and talking to my peers, I’ve learned that our generation is the most indebted, yet we’re the most educated,” Perez wrote in an email. ”A change is long overdue for us, and this is where my decision to join GenFKD came from.”
Students involved with the group will have the opportunity to attend seminars of their choice, which will focus on informing students on various topics. Seminars will range from discussions on micro-licensing, which is an industry term that refers to obtaining the rights for personal projects, to finding purpose in a career. The organization also plans to host meet and greets.
Lili Doherty, an executive board member of GenFKD and an undeclared sophomore, wrote in an email that she hopes to see students come to GenFKD with questions about the economy, employment and becoming more financially literate.
”We want to teach students anything from how to save money to depositing checks,” Doherty wrote. “We feel as though our generation is not educated enough when it comes to our economy, so any little thing they need advice on or are confused with, we are welcomed to help.”
The club, which has recently held a general interest meeting, plans to hold another meeting soon. The e-board is also trying to draft a petition of student signatures to get the club chartered by the Student Association.