What you missed during UConn’s Financial Literacy Week 


April is National Financial Literacy Month. Last week, two University of Connecticut students, senior economics and mathematics major Nidhi Jayakumar Nair, and junior political science and economics major Bridget Abril, both co-founders of UConn’s Financial Literacy Week decided to help raise financial literacy awareness here on campus.  

Last week, there were numerous events created for students to gain better knowledge on personal finance and learn about tips for on budgeting, investing, and maintaining a good credit score for Financial Literacy Week. There were a total of six events open to all students across campus. The event also had table events that were seen in the Student Union where students could play fun games to win prizes.  

The events included both table and lecture style events, focusing on something different every day, with budgeting, investments, debt management, credit and financial planning each day from April 3 to 7.  

“I found that most undergraduates at UConn didn’t know three basic concepts of ideal knowledge like interest rates and inflation. They did not know how to understand these concepts,” Nair said.  

Nair completed a research survey of the undergraduate rate of understanding at UConn revolving around students being aware of Financial Literacy Week.  

“There is no legislation in Connecticut mandating financial literacy and personal finance courses for high school students, so that is one of the primary reasons why UConn students are not financially literate,” Abril said.  

Abril expressed that when Nair reached out to her she was more than willing to help her with this project. Abril herself wanted to encourage more social advocacy to students here on campus because it was lacking among the student body.   

“We applied to the UConn Change Grant because we wanted to do a clear social impact project. Our project was so focused on trying to do a specific thing [which was] to raise financial understanding with undergraduate students at UConn,” Abril said. They applied for the grant in September. 

Brian Feroldi is a UConn alumnus who graduated in 2004 and held a panel called “Investing, the basics of the stock market.” Feroldi is a financial educator, Youtuber and best-selling author who held a panel giving intermediate lessons on the stock market and tips on getting started with investing. The panel focused on how one can grow their capital and was geared towards students unskilled with investing and interested in learning more. According to Abril, the event was popular and students were even able to get free books from Feroldi.  

On Wednesday Ashley Benner from the Office of Student Financial Aid Services held a panel on debt management. The event included components on budgeting, credit and student loans. On Thursday, there was a virtual event with Beth Settje from the UConn Career Center, who talked about financial literacy when going into a career.  

In total there were two in-person events and one virtual event, along with three table events. At the table event, the first event was on budgeting and had a “The Price is Right”-themed game involving questions for students to guess certain expenses on everyday household expenses.  

“Students, if they participated, could spin the prize wheel for a tote bag, phone wallet, pen, budgeting papers and Smarties,” Abril said. 

Nair explained that overall they were able to register 373 people on campus. 

“I am hoping to repeat this next year, maybe to have a bigger organizing committee. We had such great volunteers and we couldn’t [have] done this without their support at the tables” Abril said. 

“I hope a lot of UConn students will realize that learning about these basic concepts is just the beginning of a lifetime learning journey of picking up financial skills as time goes on,” Nair said.  

Both Nair and Abril expressed their contentment with the successful week they had and expressed how they could not have done it without the support of their speakers. Abril said that next year they may have a larger organizing committee.  

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