Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2009—Today, more than one hundred presidents and other key institutional stakeholders from over 40 Historically and Predominantly Black, Hispanic-Serving, and Tribal colleges and universities gather for the 2009 IHEP Symposium on Financial Literacy and College Success at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)—“Increased Retention in the Midst of Economic Uncertainty,” being held Feb. 25–27 at the San Antonio Hyatt Regency in San Antonio, Texas. Hosted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and funded by USA Funds—the nation’s largest guarantor of student loans—the three-day event continues USA Funds’ eight-year commitment to providing MSIs with essential financial literacy information that can help alleviate common persistence issues their students encounter.
“Given the unprecedented economic conditions facing many students, particularly low-income students of color and the institutions that serve many of them, the symposium holds even greater urgency and relevance for today’s institutional leaders,” said IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. “This year’s symposium provides an opportunity for an ongoing dialogue related to advancing financial knowledge for students.”
Setting the tone for the symposium is Juliet V. García, Ph.D., president of the University of Texas at Brownsville and former chair of the congressionally mandated Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. García will serve as the opening speaker and underscore the key role financial literacy programs play in institutional retention strategies. Other event highlights include discussing model financial literacy programs that target students at various points along their educational path, from the pre-college year to senior year, and strategies for assessing the effectiveness of such programs. Participants also have an opportunity to learn more about new online financial educational tools that support national financial literacy goals—including College.gov, Controlyourcredit.gov, and NATN.org—and are available to both students and counselors.
The meeting will also draw attention to the many contributions made by the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education—a collaboration of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education—through its role in building new financial resources for MSIs and the students they serve. Closing this year’s symposium is Allison Jones, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs of the California State University System, who is set to discuss how policy changes at the federal level may impact state and institutional efforts to improve financial literacy and student success.
“USA Funds is pleased to support this forum for administrators from all types of MSIs to share their challenges and best practices to benefit the ultimate consumer of higher education—the student,” said USA Funds President and CEO Carl C. Dalstrom.
For more information about the 2009 IHEP Symposium on Financial Literacy and College Success at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)—“Increased Retention in the Midst of Economic Uncertainty,” visit IHEP’s Web site at www.ihep.org. Highlights from this year’s symposium will be published in a comprehensive report following the event.