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CUs go back to school with members
TLC Community CU, Adrian, Mich., participated in student move-in at Adrian College and Siena Heights University. Barb Bates, TLC youth financial literacy specialist, and Maria Garcia, member service representative, helped students open checking accounts. TLC also distributed magnetic calendars with each student’s schedules. (Photo provided by TLC Community CU)
North Jersey FCU, Totowa, partnered with the United Way for a “Backpacks for Kids” event last month. North Jersey employees stuffed school supplies into backpacks and donated them to the United Way Foundation. The foundation will give the supplies to a public school in the state. The credit union also plans to market its North Jersey FCU Kids Kash Club to students. The club was developed to help children 17 years or younger learn about money. (Photo provided by North Jersey FCU)
MADISON, Wis. (9/1/10)--In the midst of the beginning of school for many students nationwide, credit unions are pitching in to make the back-to-school process easier on students and their families. To help families prepare for their college-bound students’ expenses, Power Financial CU, Pembroke Pines, Fla., offered a free workshop for parents Aug. 18 at one of the credit union’s branches. The workshop was taught by local college planning specialists, who told parents that shouldn’t focus on a college’s “sticker price,” but rather what kind of financial aid packages a school offers its students. Technology CU, San Jose, Calif., is helping college and high school students with a new suite of banking products. The Plug In student banking package offers a checking account with online banking and bill pay. It also offers a credit line of up to $500 for students. Students can access their account through the credit union’s website. Finance Center FCU, Indianapolis, and North Central High School Athletics are offering a Panther Free checking account for students. In exchange for the rights to promote Panther Checking at school events, the credit union will give back a percentage of the revenue generated from the accounts to the high school’s athletic program. The account is available to students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni or fans of the high school. The accountholder receives a branded debit card and checks. The school hopes to open 500 new accounts during the school year. As schools nationwide open their doors for the year, so do student credit union branches. Fort Campbell FCU, Clarksville, Tenn., and Clarksville-Montgomery County School System are offering student-operated credit union branches at two local high schools. Thirty-two students from the schools spent their summer learning finances to help operate the student-run branches ( Aug. 10). The branches will be open to students during lunch breaks, and will offer deposits, withdrawals, transfers and loan payments. Christian Financial CU, Roseville, Mich., is launching its first student branch inside De Salle Collegiate High School. The branch will be operated by students at the school, with the help of Christian Financial. Students who work at the branch will receive school credit, said the Michigan Credit Union League (Michigan Monitor Aug. 31). Credit unions also have provided scholarships to students throughout the year. Some credit unions that recently awarded scholarships are Northwest Community CU, Springfield, Ore., and Northwest FCU, Herndon, Va. Northwest Community granted 10 scholarships to students. Full-time students received $1,000 each and part-time students received $500 each. The foundation of Northwest FCU awarded 21 students $90,000 through two scholarship programs. The foundation awarded 15 scholarships of $5,000 and six scholarships of $2,500. Credit unions outside the U.S. also are helping struggling families prepare their students for school. Gerry McConville, manager of Dundrum CU in Ireland, told The Sunday Independent (Aug. 29) that more parents are coming to the credit union for help with their children’s school costs. St. Dominic’s CU, Waterford, Ireland, is offering back-to-school loans at a rate of 6% annually, the newspaper added. Credit unions also have garnered media attention for their back-to-school savings tips. Bob Marquette, CEO of Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Mike Wishow, senior vice president of marketing and communications at the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, discussed student credit cards and how to finance college and tuition during a segment of Pennsylvania Newsmakers, said the association (Life is a Highway Aug. 27). The segment is aired across the state on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Texas Credit Union League’s blog talk radio show, “Your Money, Your Matters,” also will broadcast a show about budgeting for back to school. The show, “Getting the Family Budget in Order for Back to School,” will run every Tuesday for one hour at 11 a.m. The show will offer listeners a chance to call in with questions or comments. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), through its Home and Family Finance Center radio show, also discussed school-related topics. Phil Heckman, CUNA’s director of youth programs, was quoted in The Daily Gazette via The Associated Press, suggesting parents help their children learn how to budget for school by allowing them to buy something extra with money left over from buying school necessities (Aug. 9).


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