Less than one year ago, Jasmin Davis was preparing to graduate from high school.
Now, she’s about to earn her associate degree.
Next, she plans to earn her four-year degree – and then enter the career field.
Financial challenges may lie ahead. The cost of a four-year degree is expensive and continues to rise. It’s hard for many students to successfully transition into the four-year system.
But Davis is determined. And she and dozens of her fellow students at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis have been empowered to achieve their goals thanks, in part, to an innovative program that has taught them how to navigate financial decisions they will face.
The program is called Transit-Financial WellnessTM. Transit is an interactive, web-based, tablet-friendly financial education program created by EverFi, Inc., a leading education technology company. Regions Bank sponsors Transit for Davis and her fellow students in Ivy Tech’s Associate Accelerated Program, known as ASAP, at the school’s Indianapolis campus.
Transit delivers the skills students need to understand their finances while in school and beyond. And this program is not about reading a textbook. Instead, it uses technology to offer simulations of real-world financial decisions that help students learn how to set personal budgets, how to understand and use credit wisely and how to manage student-loan debt.
“My experience with this course was much more than learning about finances,” Davis said. “It was a chance to help my current situation – and to help me learn about planning for the future. I learned things that I probably would have never learned, or would have learned the hard way, like how loans and credit work, how to keep a good credit score and the importance of personal investments.”
The personal benefits students receive from Transit are what encouraged Regions to offer the financial support needed to bring Transit to Ivy Tech.
“When we saw the level of detail this program provides and the way it connects with students on an individual level, we knew we wanted to help offer this program to more students,” said Leslie Carter-Prall, Indiana Area President for Regions Bank. “As financial professionals, we work with customers and community members every day to help them better understand how to manage money effectively. And it’s never too soon to start learning these skills. Students need to know how to set a budget, how to prioritize expenses and how to plan for the future. That’s exactly what this program offers.”
The financial backing from Regions means additional taxpayer dollars or tuition fees are not required to offer Transit to students. On Tuesday, 38 ASAP students received Transit certificates to recognize their participation in the program. ASAP gives students the opportunity to earn an associate degree in one year and transfer those credits to a four-year college.
“ASAP’s high success rates stem from providing holistic and individualized support to its students. Through the generosity of Regions Bank, ASAP now has the ability to include financial literacy to that support system,” said Jeff Jourdan, ASAP Director at Ivy Tech. “This partnership allows ASAP to not only empower its students with sound financial management skills, but also support their individual growth and use of those skills with face-to-face mentoring from industry experts. We are excited to grow this program and increase its positive impact on ASAP students and the larger Indianapolis community.”
Beyond receiving their certifications, students heard from Indianapolis Colts Tight End Dwayne Allen, who spoke about the lifelong benefits of building on their education.
“I believe that the old adage of, ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,’ holds true, especially as it pertains to education,” Allen said. “The best and most efficient way that we can help serve our communities is by encouraging one another to be life learners.”
Regions has worked with EverFi since 2010 to connect Transit and other EverFi financial education courses with more than 70,000 students and adults in eight states.
Transit has six interactive modules that cover a range of financial scenarios and topics. Each student can benefit from a customized and adaptive action plan that provides personalized feedback based on his or her current financial situation, including level of student loan debt, credit card usage and other self-reported financial behaviors or priorities.
“The skills that students learn through this program can last a lifetime,” Carter-Prall said. “We are proud to work with EverFi and Ivy Tech on this initiative that is truly making a difference. As we work together – the business community and the education community – we can give more students an even greater chance to succeed.”
It’s a chance that some students, like Jasmin Davis, may not have received without this course.
“My experience is one I will never forget,” Davis said.