New financial literacy program aims to help students better manage debt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- With student debt soaring nationwide, Penn State has created a new financial literacy program aimed at helping students make better decisions about budgeting, borrowing and loan repayment.

In recognition of National Financial Literacy month in April, the program will kick off with a workshop April 17 called “Budgeting 101: Making Dollars with Sense.” The workshop will be held from 3 to 4 p.m., in the Paterno Library, Room 302.

Daad Rizk, Penn State’s new financial literacy coordinator, is at the forefront of the initiative. “Our goal is to help our students acquire financial literacy as a life skill to help them graduate, manage their debt successfully, and plan for a better financial future,” Rizk said. “Financial literacy education is the foundation for making informed financial decisions.”

The national student debt, at about $870 billion, surpasses the national credit card debt. “Government and higher education realize they have got to pay attention to this and set the course for a better financial future for the entire nation,” Rizk said.

Penn State will actively engage students through hands-on workshops, one-on-one or group counseling, webinars, and eventually online help and tutorials, she said.

Penn State Financial Literacy is a collaborative effort of the Adult Learner Advocacy Office, part of Penn State Outreach and the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Rizk came to Penn State after 17 years at Georgia Southern University, where she served as assistant director for financial aid, business manager of student accounts and bursar.

The April 17 workshop is free, but seating is limited. Registration is at

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Last Updated April 08, 2013