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SMMC marks Financial Literacy Month with activities in April

Student Money Management Center (SMMC) Coordinator Jean Cyprien, right, shows Aida Alarcon how to play the "Money Smart: GeoCache for College Cash" game in the Student Center on UNG's Gainesville Campus. The game is one of a few activities the SMMC sponsored to mark National Financial Literacy Month in April.

Erick Jones had a simple pitch to students during lunchtime recently at the University of North Georgia (UNG).

"You want a chance to win $250?" said the director of the Student Money Management Center (SMMC) at UNG.

To be eligible for the drawing, students had to answer six financial literacy questions on topics from paychecks and debit cards to credit scores and student loans. The bonus was students received good financial advice while playing the simple game.

"Everybody wins with financial literacy," Jones said.

Titled "Money Smart: GeoCache for College Cash," the activity was conducted on UNG's Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses to mark National Financial Literacy Month in April. Another activity planned for April is the "Making Cents Make Sense" game simulation of life.

"We give students the anticipated average salary for a graduate's major in the southeast, then we have the students go through a financial simulation of what life may be like when they graduate," Jones said.

Students may play the simulations from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on two campuses. They will be:

  • April 10 on the Student Center Patio on the Gainesville Campus.
  • April 17 on Hoag Patio on the Dahlonega Campus.

Both activities offer sound financial advice and raise awareness about the SMMC.

Established as the first of its kind in Georgia in fall 2017, the SMMC helps students set up and live on a budget, build credit, discuss student loans and even establish retirement plans for those in that stage of their life.

"We can do everything a full-life financial planner does other than personalized investments," Jones said, adding the service is free and confidential.

The SMMC accomplishes the individualized attention through one-on-one appointments and group workshops and activities.

One example of a group workshop is the Financial Fitness Series, a four-part series that covers the basics of personal finance. It features interactive learning and activities designed to help students practice practical money management on a daily basis and help plan for future financial needs.

The SMMC will close out this academic year with its "Risk Management" session of the Financial Fitness Series. The session will teach students about ways to prevent emergencies from becoming catastrophes. The sessions will be from noon to 1 p.m. at the following days and places:

  • April 10 in room 332 in the Stewart Student Success Center on the Dahlonega Campus.
  • April 15 in room 501 in the Student Resource Center on Oconee Campus.
  • April 16 in Meeting Room 1 in the Student Center on the Gainesville Campus.

UNG's Career Services and Students Today and Alumni Tomorrow also will host "Navigating Life as a College Graduate" in collaboration with the SMMC. The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22 in the Robinson Ballroom in the Student Center on the Gainesville Campus.

For students who are unable to attend sessions, the SMMC can schedule individual appointments on all five campuses. Jones advises students to start a financial plan as soon as possible and then follow the plan.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the SMMC webpage.

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