UNT Student Money Management Center Director Paul Goebel was selected to represent Inceptia as its honorary ambassador to the upcoming 2018 Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit in July for his outstanding essay submission. He also was awarded a paid registration to the conference.

Inceptia, a division of the National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to offering effective and uncomplicated solutions in financial aid management, default prevention and financial education. Goebel also attained his personal financial management certification through Inceptia.

“Having my essay selected is a tremendous honor,” said Goebel. “I look forward to representing UNT and fulfilling my duties as an honorary ambassador.”

Goebel’s award-winning essay is below:

Why is financial education important to you, or for your students?

Financial education is important to me and our students, because student success today is being defined well beyond classroom walls. The formula for college success only has two components: Grades and Money.

Students are made aware of their academic requirements with every class syllabus. It is often the financial realities of pursuing a post-secondary education that create challenges for students. Many students (especially first-generation students and student veterans returning to campus) who find themselves adrift without knowledge, skills, or abilities to face new financial responsibilities and processes.

A financial education program provides a much needed bridge of support for all students. As financial education educators and practitioners, the greatest gift we can provide to students is empowerment through education.

Let us not forget research. The findings from a variety of research briefs, studies, and polls throughout the years speak for themselves when it comes to the importance of financial education in higher education:

  • More than one third (34 percent) of students agreed that the stress from financial issues had a negative impact on their academic performance or progress. (Inceptia Research Brief)
  • 80% of young adults (average age of just over 18) worry about debt and are experiencing debt-related stress in their daily lives. (Money Matters on Campus Study)
  • Nearly 60 percent of students said they worry about having enough money to pay for school, while half are concerned about paying their monthly expense. (National Student Financial Wellness Study)
  • Almost 50 percent of students said there had been a point in the past 12 months when they had less than $100 in their bank accounts (AICPA survey)
  • 42 million people owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. (New York Federal Reserve Study)
  • Student loan debt is nearly $620 billion more than total U.S. credit card debt. (Student Loan Hero Findings)
  • Class of 2016 is the most student loan-indebted graduates with an average of $37,172 of student loan debt. (Federal Reserve Findings)
  • 68% of U.S. adults doubt they will be able to completely pay off their debts. (CreditCards.com Survey)
  • 30% of U.S. adults believe they’ll never be debt-free and another 38% don’t know how or when they’ll be able to swipe their slates clean in the future. (Institute of International Finance Study)

College is an important transitionary period for students. With ever-escalating tuition costs and living expenses, young people need access to financial education programs and services to be better prepared for life today as students and tomorrow as graduates.

How does Inceptia support you in your financial education efforts?

Inceptia provides support in many different ways for both my professional education and development. I have come to rely upon Inceptia personnel and webinars as sources of knowledge and content-expertise as my team and I have worked to expand and enhance the financial education presence on the UNT campus. Serving a diverse student body of more than 38,000 students requires our team to be on the top of our game. Inceptia remains one of my primary go-to resources when in need. The company also provides an array of other services that I have explored in our ongoing efforts to help all students – from first semester freshmen to graduates – become financially responsible individuals. Knowing that one size does not fit all when it comes to developing a successful financial education program, I appreciate that Inceptia has developed online financial education curriculum and seminars relevant to the interests and needs of students. In my pursuit to enhance my own professional development and knowledge within the field of financial education, I took advantage of Inceptia’s Personal Financial Management Certification program. Upon completing the program and through continued education opportunities I can apply to the program’s CEU requirements, I am better prepared to meet the ever-changing financial educational needs of our diverse student body.

Why do you think you would make a great Inceptia Ambassador?

Author and motivational speaker John C. Maxwell once noted, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Being an Inceptia Ambassador will empower me to be such a leader to colleagues attending the Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit and beyond. I believe I would make a great Inceptia Ambassador due to my personal combination of knowledge, passion, and dedication for the field of financial education. I have personally witnessed the growth of my campus’s financial education initiative from concept to being recognized as a nationally award-wining best practice. As an ambassador and CPFM, I will share, inspire, and motivate others through more than twelve years of experience of creating an award-winning program and leading an award-winning team. In addition, I will have the privilege of making colleagues more aware of Inceptia and its resources. I will defer to others whether my actions as an ambassador are worthy of the use of such an inspirational adjective as ‘great’; however, I am ready to serve!

For more information on the Student Money Management Center, visit http://studentaffairs.unt.edu/student-money-management-center.

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Contact: Ray Willhoft, 940-565-2464, raymond.willhoft@unt.edu