Smart Money, Brighter Futures! Charles Schwab and 1DF Host Multi-City ‘College Finances 101’ Workshop for Students

1DF founder Christie Garton (second from right) teamed up with financial expert Stefanie O'Connell (third from left) and the Charles Schwab team, including St. Louis branch manager Scott Miller (second from left) to launch the "College Finances: 101" workshop in six cities on October 4, 2018.

Money talks — and it can speak pretty loudly when you’re looking at college expenses and financing your degree. According to a recent Forbes article, the average student faces $37,172 in student loan debt when they graduate.

The financial cost of college is also one of the biggest obstacles we hear about from students, too. So, we listened. And, on October 4, we hosted a multi-city workshop for college-bound students (six cities total participated!) in partnership with Charles Schwab, featuring millennial money expert Stefanie O’Connell.

Hosted at the Charles Schwab office in St. Louis, Mo., our “College Finances: 101” workshop was live-streamed to more than 100 college-bound students across the country, including the young women participating in Project: Girls On the Rise program, in Orange County, Calif., Miami, Fla., Omaha, Neb., Kansas City, Mo., and Houston, Tx.

A behind-the-scenes look at our “College Finances: 101” workshop in Omaha with support from Charles Schwab.

During the workshop, O’Connell talked about the dollars-and-cents of college while offering straightforward budgeting strategies, tips, and other advice to help students get ahead of the financial curve.

“We are so grateful for Stefanie and the team at Charles Schwab who provided this much-needed finance advice for college-bound students,” said Meryl Dillman, program officer for Project: Girls On the Rise and co-host of the Kansas City event. “It was a packed house and students left the event armed with tips on how to manage their money, how to consider their options when it comes to making financial decisions, and how to feel confident while doing so!”

A behind-the-scenes look at our “College Finances: 101” workshop in Kansas City with support from Charles Schwab.

We loved getting feedback from our students who were in attendance, too — many of whom said they learned so much from the College Finances 101 workshop.

“One important tip I took away was to look at what I spend my money on day-to-day. I probably don’t need to spend so much money on my fancy coffee drinks!” admitted Alondra, a high school junior in Kansas City.

A behind-the-scenes look at our “College Finances: 101” workshop in Houston with support from Charles Schwab.

This event actually built upon the work that 1DF did last fall with Charles Schwab when we started an important dialogue about the hidden costs of college and how they uniquely impact students today. In our research, we found that more than half of female college students don’t feel prepared to manage their college finances. We also found that 52 percent of the women polled who didn’t finish college said they dropped out because of finances.

“It is no secret that the biggest barrier to college access and success that most students — especially those in need — face is financial,” said Christie Garton, 1DF Founder and CEO. “Through this workshop, our goal was to empower students with information in a fun and accessible way and help them get a financial game plan in place well in advance.”

A behind-the-scenes look at our “College Finances: 101” workshop in Kansas City with support from Charles Schwab.

After all, we know that providing students with financial literacy resources and training before they head to college is so critical. And, our friends at Charles Schwab understand the importance, too.

“At Charles Schwab, our goal is to help our clients build strong financial futures,” said Scott Miller, Charles Schwab Branch Manager in Clayton, Missouri and host of the event. “With this workshop and our support of 1DF, we helped provide students with the information they need to make better financial decisions, ensuring their well-being long after college graduation.”

A behind-the-scenes look at our “College Finances: 101” workshop in Kansas City with support from Charles Schwab.

We couldn’t agree more. By investing in our students today with this type of workshop and with the micro-grants we provide, 1DF’s goal is to ensure that they can find greater success tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who helped make this event such a great success!