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3 Financial Literacy Strategies That Support Student Retention

How important is student enrollment to your school? For certain institutions, it’s life or death. For others, it’s a recent phenomenon due to current economic trends. Regardless, it’s in your President’s wheelhouse and would be a benefit to be on your radar as well. Recent reports show that students cite financial difficulties as the primary reason for withdrawing from school. Financial literacy programs are key to helping retain those students.

Here are three easy ways to affect retention through financial literacy without busting your budget.

1. Interpret the Investment

Help students understand the financial commitment they are undertaking with 4 calculations:

  • Anticipated total loan debt
    Calculate Cost of Attendance minus gift aid, from start to graduation
  • Anticipated monthly loan payments
    Using the anticipated loan debt, calculate using an online repayment calculator
  • Anticipated income
    Utilize a website like
  • Debt-to-income ratio
    Divide the monthly income by the monthly payment

A student can then determine if the loan debt is worth the investment, or the beginning of a financial grave. It is most-commonly recommended to limit the debt-to-income ratio to 10% or less.

2. Build the Budget

Guide your students to create a customized personal budget to adhere to during college. It will not only keep lifestyle expectations realistic while in school, but will also help establish healthy financial habits that can be transferred to life after college.

3. Complement the Counseling

Since federal regulations already require loan borrowers to complete Entrance and Exit Counseling, supplement those communications with financial literacy information. Strongly encouraging loan borrowers to watch a video session on money management can help provide a foundation for future financial success!

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