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Students are Prepared for Lifelong Success through Peer Financial Counseling

The talks typically provide an overview of a given issue, but if a student is interested, counsellors can delve deeper into more detailed themes.

Students can anticipate that after their initial counselling session, counsellors will stay in touch with them to offer any necessary follow-up help.

Will Mathews, a volunteer counsellor with the program, stated, “For instance, for a meeting about budgeting, we can have a lot of generic tips we can present, or we can really sit with a student and create a budgeting sheet with their own financial details.

The program takes pride in providing a judgment-free setting to foster open and considerate discussions on personal finance.

Mathews has been a counsellor in the program since his freshman year at the University and is currently a fourth-year economics major. Since then, he has added management responsibilities to his typical counselling responsibilities.

Mathews affirmed, “We are students, too. “We comprehend the financial strain other students are through. We can be a helpful initial step where people feel comfortable coming to have their questions answered rather than having to go to an adult at Student Financial Services, which may be a little scary.

The counselling component is the most influential part of the curriculum, therefore I would never want to give that up, Mathews said. It’s the reason I’ve remained committed to the program for so long.

Mutual Financial Counseling volunteers are aware that some children, particularly those from low-income homes, could be reluctant to meet with a peer because they worry the counsellor won’t get their particular situation. The initiative aims to pair children with counsellors who have had comparable experiences in an effort to overcome these feelings.

Particularly at a university like UVA where there is a significant financial disparity, Doran said, “We have this stigma around money. “We will match students if they indicate a desire for a student who, for instance, receives financial aid or has previously obtained a federal loan so they can walk them through the process and provide their own experience,” says the university. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m., the program is located on the second floor of Clemons Library.

Financial self-advocacy, financial literacy, and financial management confidence are essential life skills, according to Doran. “One tool that can help students worry less about their finances is the peer financial counselling program, and I strongly encourage all students to speak up for themselves and contact our program.”

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