What is one of the biggest challenges that college and university financial administrators face today?
If you answered communications, then you’re right. From texting to social media, the number of channels available to reach students has added an unparalleled level of complexity when it comes to getting important financial information out in a timely fashion. Armed with mobile phones, tablets and laptops, students are barraged with emails, texts and social media posts, all claiming to be of the utmost importance. Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, many students are just not financially literate. While legally responsible for their tuition bills, most have little to no real world experience budgeting and managing money.
- the barrage of information passed along to students each day,
- students with a lack of financial acumen,
- along with how best to help administrators reach students effectively
(The need for best practices in communicating financial information (in particular on campus), is crucial. In this informative e-book, Mann Jackson explores what she refers to as a “perfect storm.” Changing demographics and multiple communication methods, combined with rising tuition and a lackluster economy present college and university financial officers with a significant challenge.
Mann Jackson speaks to a number of administrators, among them, Kristy Vienne, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Students at Sam Houston State University. Vienne provides unique insight into how students have come to sort and prioritize the many important messages they receive, noting that younger people’s preference is to focus on what they perceive as most immediate, ignoring what they view as unessential. Their lack of understanding of financial matters speaks to the fact that young adults take little or no responsibility when it comes to their own finances. Mann Jackson makes it clear. “For many students, the expectation that they will handle their own paperwork and finances is not just new, it’s inconsistent with reality in their own families.” While this reality is no doubt familiar to college and university financial officers, with rising tuition costs, increased student loan debt and the growing demand for greater transparency from both the government and the public, the need for real strategies to improve communication is urgent.
Mann Jackson doesn’t focus on just the problem. Each of the eight practices mentioned is tried and true. From timing to message content, to a breakdown of each channel, Mann Jackson suggests techniques that are already producing results at Sam Houston State University, Ivy Tech Community College, Oberlin and others.
To read Communicating Financial information on Campus: 8 Best Practices to Build More Financially Literate, Money-wise Students now click here.
For additional information, Nancy has published a second eBook titled Moving Toward E-Communication, also available as a free download: