When starting a new school year, students have one major stress on their mind: money. It is common and is shared among college students throughout the country.
Travis Gutche, a senior business administration major, is guiding students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with the new financial program he set up this summer.
When the UW-Extension reached wanted to find financial mentors in the community, Gutche thought it was a great opportunity to try out the business he hopes to be a part of in the future. However, due to family obligations, he missed the training sessions.
Still determined, Gutche spoke with UW-Extension’s program leader Sherry Daniels in hopes of being a part of the team. Instead of giving him a job as a mentor, she offered him a management internship with the business. Gutche was assigned to research over the summer about financial literacy and the necessity of it for students, especially in four year UW schools.
“It was interesting learning the statistics,” Gutche said. “Student loans are the second highest financial debt in the country, mortgage being the first.”
This inspired Gutche even more as he spent much of his summer learning about financial literacy from ten local banks and a multitude of YouTube videos. His discovered the stress finances cause people across the country, as 76 percent of stress is caused by financial problems alone.
Gutche said many four year UW schools do not have financial literacy programs for students.
“College students do not realize how their financial choices now will affect them in the future,” Gutche said. “This program allows trained students to help other students with any financial questions and problems they might have now so that it is less of an issue in the future.”
This free program will give every student the opportunity to learn how to become financially stable.
“It is a different relationship when a knowledgeable student mentors another student,” said Lynn Ludwig, professor of English. “It allows the two students to create a long-term trusting relationship that will benefit them more in the long run than if they were to be mentored by an adult.”
The program is now accepting student volunteers to be trained as UWSP financial mentors. The first day of training is Sept. 26. For more information about this program, students can contact Travis Gutche at Travis.L.Gutche@uwsp.edu.