Financial Wellness for College Students

The Financial Wellness program aims to help college students learn to manage their money effectively and make wise financial decisions. Financial decisions that young people make while in college can have a significant impact on their lives for many years.

All services to students are free. Students can chat with peer educators (by phone, email or video) to ask questions about personal finances and money management resources.  

    Financial Wellness for College Students

    About Us

    Financial Wellness for College Students focuses on practical money management skills and strategies to help college students plan spending, save money, use credit wisely, and build a solid financial foundation for long-term goals. This program is unique because it connects college students with peers who have been trained by Extension educators and other professionals to provide financial education outreach.

    The purpose of the Financial Wellness program is two-fold:

    1) to provide accurate, timely financial education to college students in a delivery mode that is appealing and accessible to them and,

    2) to provide college students interested in financial planning as a career option an opportunity to experience teaching financial management concepts and developing educational materials for peers.

    Topics Covered in the Program

    Presentations for college classes, clubs, organizations, and more include topics such as budgeting, managing credit and debt, credit reports and scores, job benefits including retirement savings plans, and investing. Students who visit with Money Mentors commonly have questions about managing financial accounts, student loans, paying down debt, auto loans, as well as the topics covered in the general presentations. Students with problems that require legal assistance, in-depth counseling, or mediation with business will be referred to appropriate community and university services.

    Financial Planning for Young Adults

    Financial Planning for Young Adults (FPYA), developed in partnership with the CFP Board, is designed to provide an introduction to basic financial planning concepts for young adults. The FPYA course is organized across eight separate modules within a 4-week window. Topics covered include financial goal setting, saving and investing, budgeting, financial risk, borrowing and credit. Because financial planning is such a personal topic, you will be encouraged to define your own financial goals and objectives while we discuss concepts and provide tools which can be applied in helping you reach those goals.

    Within each module, you will view a combination of traditional lecture style videos along with video vignettes that introduce financial topics for discussion among participants. The video vignettes provide a unique and exciting component to this course. Each vignette introduces a real-world scenario where financial decisions must be made and financial planning concepts can be applied. You will be challenged to think critically about each scenario and decide how you might come to a resolution if ever faced with a similar situation. Finally, the course also includes material throughout which is focused on career opportunities in financial planning, including video interviews with actual CFP® professionals and other professionals working in this exciting and growing career area. The final module in the class is devoted to the topic of financial planning as a career.

    Extension Resources


    Credit Card Smart - Get Rid of Credit Card DebtThis article gives you ways of getting rid of your credit card debt and shows you the advantages and disadvantages of credit use. 

    Loan Repayment CalculationA useful tool to help you figure out your monthly loan payment. 

    Student Loan Repayment Strategies: A list of resources to help you figure out where you are now, your repayment options, and make a plan to take action.


    Financial Institution Comparison Chart for Your UseThis chart gives you instructions on how to compare financial services from different financial institutions. 

    How Can I Save on Groceries?: Great strategies for saving on groceries. 

    Making it on a College BudgetA customizable budgeting sheet to fit your needs. A great tool to plan out your college budget. 

    Questions to Ask When Planning a Study Abroad TripBefore you leave the country, ask questions about expenses! 

    Track Your ExpensesA handout you can use to track all your daily expenses. 

    Income Tracking: Use this worksheet to track your different income sources during a year.

    Weekly Meal Plan IdeasSet up your weekly meal plan and grocery shopping

    Save and Invest

    55 Ways to Save MoneyFinancial tips for students at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Find how you can save money under each category. 

    Small Changes Add Up!See exactly how those small expenses add up.

    SMART Goal WorksheetThe best way to work towards a goal is to make it SMART and write it down. Start here to reach your financial goals.

    Steps to Investing: Resource sheet that shows where to start for beginner investors

    Other Helpful Websites



    Financial Planning for Young Adults: The Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, provides an introduction to basic financial planning concepts. It is open to the general public through Coursera, an education platform that partners with universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses free of charge.

    Get $avvy Webinar Series: Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff is a webinar series addressing a broad range of financial topics created by University of Illinois Extension & University of Illinois USFSCO Student Money Management Center.


    CFPB- Student and Young AmericansA place where you can find the annual report on student loan complaints and share the roadblocks that you’ve faced on the path to pay off your debt. 

    FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial AidQuality information about financial resources beyond government loans. 

    PowerPayA helpful tool to help you eliminate debt faster by giving the tool to develop a personalized debt elimination plan. 


    Getting Through Tough Financial TimesTips on how to save money on food and daily life. Too many bills to pay? Read about how to talk to creditors. 

    More for Your MoneyInteractive free website steps you through the process of setting up budget. Helpful tips for managing credit too. 


    How much is your career worth? Find out how much you can earn in different careers in the United States. 


    Check Your Credit Report For Free! The only website where you can request one credit report from each of the three main Credit Bureaus for FREE. 

    Is Your Financial Security at Risk? This is a personal risk management plan to help you assure that you are protecting the people you care about and give you a peace of mind. 

    Save and Invest

    Choosing a Financial Professional: Who should you consult with for financial matters? Learn how to find a good match for you. 

    Student Resources

    Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services at Parkland CollegeFinancial aid assistance for students at Parkland College 

    Student Financial Assistance at Danville Area Community College (DACC)Financial aid assistance for students at DACC 

    The Office of Student Financial AidFirst stop for financial aid assistance at the University of Illinois. 

    USFSCO- Student Money Management CenterStudent Money Management Center provides financial education resources that aim to inform, educate, and empower college students about important financial topics and encourage them to participate in the interactive and engaging activities and events. 


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