University 101 Programs

Dollars and Sense: Financial Literacy at USC

The Student Success Center's Financial Literacy presentation provides students with an introduction to basic financial concepts such as budgeting, financial goal setting, and credit management that will assist them in the development of effective money management skills. Through the use of worksheets, hands-on activities, and interactive tools, students will have an opportunity to engage with the material in a way that fosters their own independent learning so they are able to take the first steps towards leading a financially stable lifestyle.

Learning Outcomes

The Dollars and Sense: Financial Literacy at USC presentation supports University 101 learning outcomes:

II. Help Students Discover and Connect with University of South Carolina
Identify appropriate campus resources and opportunities that contribute to their educational experience, goals, and campus engagement.
Presenters will provide overview of the Financial Literacy program services including 1:1 consultations and workshops that are available.  In addition, presenters will highlight the the Student Success Center as a resource for students on campus and will identify the various programs and services provided through the SSC. 

b. Develop and apply skills that contribute to building positive relationships with peers, staff, and faculty.
Students will work in pairs to complete the Cocky’s Budget activity.  Teamwork is necessary to be able to successfully complete the activity and properly balance Cocky’s Budget.

III. Prepare Students for Responsible Lives in a Diverse, Interconnected, and Changing World
Describe processes, strategies, and resources, and explain the implications of their decisions, related to their overall wellness.
The discussion and activities related to budgeting, financial goal setting, and credit management will help students identify and actively pursue activities that will benefit their financial wellness.  Students will also learn how bad financial decisions related to budgeting and credit can negatively impact their future and life goals.

As a result of this presentation students will:

  • Identify basic skills to effectively manage their personal finances such as budgeting and goal setting
  • Examine how their background experiences, values, goals, and decisions can impact their financial future
  • Demonstrate how to effectively create a budget through an interactive activity
  • Understand common misconceptions surrounding credit management
  • Identify resources on and off campus for further information regarding developing their own financial literacy

Program Description

  1. The Importance of Budgeting
    Budgeting is the foundation of all that you will do when it comes to managing your money. Therefore, knowing how to develop and maintain a budget is one of the most important financial concepts you can learn. Budgets are the key to spending the money you have while avoiding the pitfalls of poor money management. This portion of the presentation will focus on learning the basics of budgeting as well as information they need to assess their current spending, develop their own budget to track their expenses, and tips for long-term maintenance.

  2. Cocky’s Budget
    Cocky's Budget is a hands-on group activity that challenges students to put their budgeting knowledge and skills to use.  In pairs, students will sort through Cocky’s monthly income and expenses and will then create a college budget for Cocky. This portion of the presentation will allow students to reflect on the process of creating a budget and discuss as a class the importance of budgeting.

  3. The Game of Credit
    Consumer credit plays such an important role not just in our lives, but in the culture in which we live. When used correctly, credit can help students attend college, buy a house, and support lifetime goals. When used incorrectly, credit can become a limiting factor with legal implications. This portion of the presentation will have students decide whether a series of credit related statements are "fact or crap", with a further explanation given by the facilitator.

Presentation Length
50 minutes