March 20, 2008
08-056

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

SIFE Captures Grant for Financial and Credit Counseling

VALDOSTA - Students In Free Enterprise received a $2,250 grant, distributed over the next three years, from AIG, a world leader in insurance and financial services, for the purpose of educating Valdosta State University freshman and seniors about credit awareness and financial issues.

VSU’s SIFE was one of only 120 teams awarded the grant from a pool of more than 600 applicants. The student group, which is one of the largest on campus, submitted a proposal to AIG, offering its plans for spending the grant money, a description of the target audience and a detailed explanation of the project the grant would fund.

The student organization plans to hold seminars, focusing on the importance of credit management, potential risks, and the FICO credit score and its breakdown, among other important issues. Each will feature a knowledgeable speaker from a local bank or credit agency, who will discuss topics of concern and provide a better understanding of managing credit. Seniors are invited to attend from 4-5 p.m. every Wednesday or 10 a.m. every Saturday during March. Freshmen will have the opportunity to gather this knowledge from SIFE at new student orientation during the summer.

SIFE member Meg Garcia recently traveled to AIG Headquarters in New York City, N.Y. to attend training, where a series of speakers educated team representatives from around the country about personal financial statistics and management tools, and building, maintaining and restoring credit. Team representatives were also able to form small groups and develop action plans to take back to their own teams.

Garcia said the grant will benefit VSU and its students by initiating an important alliance with a major financial institution and providing valuable information to students through seminars over the next three years.

“Financial literacy education is something that everyone can benefit from - especially college students,” Garcia, program director for SIFE, said. “Additionally, the grant has opened up doors that could lead to future collaborations with AIG or other institutions.”

For more information contact SIFE Programs Director Meg Garcia at 404-547-0043 or via e-mail: megarcia@valdosta.edu.