FAIRFAX, Va. -- With student loan defaults on the rise, increasing attention is turning toward financial literacy to help address this critical issue facing many of our nation's young people. To help meet this challenge, UNCF - the United Negro College Fund and Capital One Financial Corporation are providing an innovative new financial education program designed to empower tens of thousands of students with important money management skills at more than 50 historically black colleges and universities across the country.
The Capital One Financial Scholars Program is powered by EverFi's award-winning 3D educational gaming platform. The platform leverages new media to bring important financial topics to life, including student loan management, opening a bank account, budgeting, credit scores, stocks and bonds, credit cards and debt management, paying taxes and the choice between home-ownership and renting.
The new program, which builds upon an existing UNCF financial literacy initiative, is expected to reach an estimated 50,000 students in the first twelve months.
"The financial commitments and choices college students make today can impact their lives for years and even decades into the future, yet most students have never taken a personal finance class and are unprepared to make these important decisions. The goal for this program is to help our students develop practical money management skills and avoid common financial mistakes," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. UNCF president and CEO. "Capital One's commitment to financial education is commendable, and we are thankful for the company's support in bringing this innovative educational platform to thousands of students across the country."
"Financial literacy is one of the most important skills for a student to acquire in this day and age. Our young people are Virginia's future, and their ability to manage their finances well and make smart decisions will be crucial to the prosperity and vitality of the Commonwealth in the years ahead," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. "I thank the UNCF, Capital One and EverFi for putting together this important program, and bringing it to students at some of Virginia's historically black colleges and universities. This program will only enhance the world class education long provided by these schools."
Unlike other financial education programs, the Capital One Financial Scholars Program continually assesses student progress and provides student certification upon successful completion of the program. Several participating colleges and universities plan to incorporate the program into first-year student orientation.
"As an institution of higher learning, Paul Quinn College is working to prepare young men and women for a bright and successful future. Part of that preparation includes learning how to manage money and make smart financial choices," said Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College. "We are delighted to offer the Capital One Financial Scholars program, which builds upon the UNCF Financial Scholars program currently being offered on our campus. We believe that participating in this program will help our students feel more confident about managing their personal finances and student loans in the future."
"Capital One is proud to invest in bringing this unique financial literacy program to college students around the country, many of whom are making significant financial commitments in order to further their education," said Steve Gannon, Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Capital One. "We believe the EverFi platform provides an engaging, cutting-edge platform to help students build financial decision-making skills that they will use now and for the rest of their lives."
UNCF–the United Negro College Fund– is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."