Koziell with her family. (image credit: Kerry Koziell)

Kerry Koziell has worked at SNHU for the past two years and was hired to help develop financial literacy outreach and programming for students to help educate the SNHU community about student loan management and personal financial wellness.

Since then, the Financial Literacy team has served over 2,000 students through classroom workshops, debt check-up meetings, events and partnerships with other student-centered groups.

The Financial Literacy team’s role, as Koziell describes, is “to provide support and outreach to students who borrow student loans. We help them understand the terms and the responsibilities of the loans, what repayment might look like and ways they might be able to mitigate debt in the future. We also have the ability to meet with students to talk about financial wellness skills like budgeting or credit scores and proper credit card use.”

The Financial Literacy team works out of the Student Financial Services department as a resource for students who are looking to figure out what life will look like on the other side of student loans.

Koziell said, “Our role is to help them understand what student loan repayment is going to look like after they graduate. We can project what their monthly payments might be, create a budget based on actual income amounts if they have them or predict income amounts, help them figure out what their fixed expenses are, their variable expenses and how their student loan responsibilities will fit into that.”

Students can often find the Financial Literacy Team hosting classroom workshops, in one-to-one meetings and occasionally holding events in the Student Center to try to make the financial topics more entertaining for students, as seen in a spin-to-win financial trivia game.

Koziell said, “In a one-to-one, students can expect to learn how to look up their student loans on the National Student Loan Data System. Students will be able to look at accrued interest on those loans and review any private loans they have borrowed outside of federal borrowing, how to use a repayment calculator, and get guidance on how to use iGrad and other resources available for students.”

“I like this role because I made a lot of mistakes with money when I was younger. I feel like students don’t get a lot of personal finance classes while they are in high school, so when they get here there are a lot of holes in what they know about personal finance. Then, on top of that, they are adding student loan debt to that lack of knowledge.”

Koziell dedicates her time to ensuring the students at SNHU are prepared for their financial future after graduating. Not only can students find more information on the Financial Literacy Facebook page, Making Cent$, but they can also schedule one-to-one meetings with Koziell or her teammates. Message finlit@snhu.edu for more information.

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