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The student debt issue has been a problem for many years. Statistics show that students are having a difficult time saving and spending their money wisely while attending college. We believe we can create a lasting impact for students and educate them on the importance of financial responsibility and debt management with our event, Student Saving.

ComericA is a financial institution that originated in Detroit, Michigan, in 1842, by Elon Farnsworth. Over the years, we have expanded throughout the nation including Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida. As we continue to grow, it has been our pleasure to reinvest into our surrounding communities including providing money for small business, assisting to help improve neighborhoods, and contribute to individuals purchasing their new households. Our community outreach program extends to educational programs, small business, and entrepreneurs (ComericA, n.d.).

Student Debt
Student debt in the past few years has increased substantially, with the recession of 2008 making matters even worse. The cost of living for tuition, room, transportation and other necessities for these students has risen above what students can handle, causing the need for more loans and credit cards to supplement these costs. The average amount of student debt at graduation has gone from $17,223 in 2005 to $27,253 in 2012, a 58% increase (Tourylalai, 2013).There is a need to address the crisis that is the rising credit card and student loan debt and the lack of education students have in regards to these debts. Loans For most students loans are inevitable. The cost of tuition is rising which is far out weighing any savings they already have or the savings and loans their parents are able to get for them. As of now student loan debt is approaching $1 trillion, according to a separate Federal Reserve Bank of New York report (Luhby, 2012).Tuition costs vary depending on the school the student chooses to attend. In a study of tuition and debt at various colleges, of the 1,057 colleges in the study, average debt per graduate ranged from $3,000 to $55,250 (Ellis, 2012). There are many different types of loans that students can use when they go to college. Many students are unaware of the type of loan that they have and how the interest and repayment works. Some loans are backed by the government, which benefits the student while in school, but

others are not, and have far higher interest rates. Not knowing how these loans work and when to repay them can lead a graduate to spending thousands more than they need to when repaying. Another issue students have is that they get multiple loans throughout their education, so by the time they get out of school they may have 10 or more bills that come every month, becoming very overwhelming. However, there is a way to consolidate these loans which, can be extremely helpful in cases where you are having a hard time making sense of all your debt and are unable to formulate a consistent plan for paying it off (Ebrahimi, 2012). Consolidating takes your loans and lumps them into one so there is only one payment amount and one bill a month. Thankfully, there is a program that helps students who have graduated and are still not in the best paying job. This program is called Income-Based Repayment, or IBR, and it adjusts your monthly payments so that you will pay no more than 15% of your current income toward your student loans (Ebrahimi, 2012). This also extends the repayment period to 25 years instead of 10 giving a lot of more flexibility. Educating students on how this works and how to enroll in the program will allow them to decide if this option is the best one for them. Credit Cards The other demon while students are in school is credit card debt. Credit cards have become so easy to obtain and the students have no idea how to manage them. In a recent study that was published April 2012 Seventy percent of American college students have credit cards, five of every six of those students do not know their cards' interest rates, 75 percent of them do not know their late payment charges and 70 percent of them do not know what their overbalance-limit fees might be (Merzer, 2012). The amount of debt that students have been accumulating has risen drastically. In 2004, the average college student had only $946 in credit card debt... In 2007, the average college senior had a $3000 credit card debt... By 2008, the average increased to $3173... By 2009, the average soared to over $4100 (Ludlum et al.,2012). In 2009, studies have determined that 84% of college students have at least registered one credit card. The average college student has accumulated up to $3,173 in credit card debt. Statistics have proven that only 17% of students pay off their entire balance, while 22% make the bare minimum payments (The Huffington Post, 2010). Credit card legislation passed in 2009 during the Obama administration is helping students from being deceived by banks and creditors. The new credit card law was designed to target what lawmakers dubbed unfair or deceptive practices by issuers and implemented the most sweeping change in the history of the industry (Mui, 2010). Anyone under 21 who wants a credit card must prove valid income or have a co-signer such as a parent on the card with them. Those who are approved for what is usually a student credit card have much lower credit limits

so they are not able to rack up thousands of dollars on the card. Banks can also no longer put interest on purchases that have already occurred when they increase the interest rate on the card. "Consumer advocates have long criticized the industry for wooing young people who often don't realize the risks involved, sucking them into a vicious cycle of debt " (Mui, 2010). All of these initiatives have helped students from getting overwhelmed in debt. Below is a statistic of the percent of balance ninety days or more delinquent by loan type Suzy Khimm (2011) has gathered from 1999 to 2011.

Education of Debts Students are not sufficiently educated before obtaining loans and credit card debt. Most students have come to think that if you go to college, credit cards and loans are necessary, so they typically are not learning the ins and outs of everything associated with these debts. In a recent study, "84% of undergraduates admitted the need for more financial management education. Of these, 64% would have preferred some type of financial literacy education in high school and 40% as college freshman. (, n.d.). Educating students while they are in college, while some might say is too late, will help them make more educated decisions with their financial life.


The most efficient way of controlling these issues is learning how to budget your money. Budgeting is creating a plan based on your income that categorizes your spending to ensure you are able to pay all your expenses and hopefully have some left over. This money thats left over is a great way to pay extra on those excessive student loan bills. ComericA feels a responsibility to our community to educate them on the value of budgeting. The main concept of our proposed outreach program is a fun day on campus learning how to plan out a budget. The event will be hosted in the Galaxy Rooms at University of Texas at Dallas. We plan to partner up with the Accounting Leadership Association (ALA) which is a student organization on campus. There are multiple reasons we would like to partner up with an organization. The galaxy rooms at UTD as mentioned are an ideal location because it is central to campus and are available for free when used by a student organization. Second, we believe that involving the youth in this outreach opportunity could be beneficial. Finally, we believe that the student involvement will help raise awareness and excitement for the event. This specific organization was chosen because of their mission statement. ALAs mission statement is: To provide members with opportunities for academic, personal, and professional development so they may contribute effectively and ethically to society and their organizations. To serve the community and develop conscientious members of the community through participation in civic activities and to build unity within the association while establishing friendships and networks that extend beyond the time spent at UTD (Accounting Leadership Association, 2013). To promote this event we will not only be using the help of our partners at ALA but also the staff on the UTD campus. We plan to reach out to professors and ask that they offer extra credit for their classes if the students attend the event. At the end of the event, the students will be given a sticker which will have multiple uses. One use will be to prove to any professors that they participated in the event and even spent time with a personal banker. We will also require the students to have these stickers in order to claim any earned prizes. Career Works is a website used by the University to promote career and post-graduation oriented events. We would promote the event on Career works and, although not required, we will ask students to register to attend the event to get a better estimate of how many students to expect. We will also include in the promoting of the event and on Career Works that students may bring any questions about their student loans or debts they have already incurred. This way they will be able to get specific feedback and advice to help them with their repayment. As attendees enter the room, they will be given 10 poker chips with each chip representing 10% of any given income. They will also receive a clipboard, blank budget sheet (spread sheet), pen, and a raffle ticket. We would like to limit the amount of students at each booth so they get the maximum experience, therefore they will be going in groups of ten. The groups will be determined by the ticket numbers they are given. As they are waiting for their group to be called, we will provide lunch, refreshments, and an overall networking environment.

There will be 5 booths at the event; however, there will be a duplicate for each booth to reduce waiting time. The booth numbers were limited to 5 because at the conclusion of the event, the students will be given time to meet with personal bankers to assist in finishing a realistic budget plan. The bankers will also be available to answer any questions about loans, loan repayment, credit cards, or even simple things like how to open an account. We understand the students have limited time before classes or other plans, therefore want to keep the time spent between all booths to a reasonable amount. Student volunteers will also be roaming the room to assist in making sure participants know where to go and to create life road bumps. These life road bumps will stop participants and be life challenges that force them to give up a chip. For example, it might be a broken down car, water heater breaking down or other unexpected costs. In addition sometimes the life road bumps will be a good thing like bonuses, winning lottery money, or dead rich relative. Booth #1 Saving: This booth is designed to get the students to think about putting money aside every month for saving and either personal or mandatory use (Ready for zero, n.d.). Students will give up 10% for savings, and another 10% for obligations such as tithes, family commitments, etc. o Each attendee will have to give up 2 chips at this booth; one chip is for saving, and the other chip is for mandatory/obligation or personal use. We will have a sign at this booth explaining why they are giving up chips and how to fill it in on their blank budget form. We will have 2 baskets along with 2 volunteers there to take chips. Booth #2 - Want vs. Needs: College students need to be able to distinguish wants from needs in order to properly plan their budgets. Needs are basic items that one cannot live without. Examples of needs are things such as utilities, food, and housing. Wants are items that are desired, not needed, that can be lived without. Although they may seem like needs to many; cable, trendy or brand name clothing, and going out on the weekends are actually wants. Often, impulses are strong when making a decision and if a person allows themself to be influenced by the media or their social networks, the consequences may be disastrous. One of the main problems with budgeting is failing to keep wants vs. needs separate and clear. ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions (n.d), a licensed debt management services provider, gives an excellent piece of advice regarding this matter. They acknowledge that it is only human nature to shop on impulse every once in a while. However, whenever the financial situation of a person is not in ideal conditions, it is very important to keep those impulses under control. If not, debt can be accumulated and bank accounts may quickly dwindle. This booth is designed for students to identify their wants and needs. Moreover, this booth will provide information for students to utilize discounts and cheaper ways to spend their money.

o There will be a spinning wheel with different items that could be considered wants or needs. The attendees will spin the wheel, and then they will have to decide if the landed category is a want or a need. If they guess right, they will be given a chip, but if they guess wrong, they will get 1 chip taken away. o In this booth, there will be an additional space for the discount knowledge: buy used books, hit the happy hour, take advantage of free or cheap activities, and learn to cook. This will encourage the attendants to shop for discounts, especially for students by using their IDs. Also, take advantage of coupons (Think your way to wealth, n.d.). o This booth will require 2 volunteers. One will assist with the wheel and give/take chips and the other volunteer will talk about different discounts. This is a great way for students to learn they dont have to cut out everything fun. However, they are learning to live like a student and using discounts is a great way to do so. Booth #3 - Food: This booth will help students understand on average how much each person spends on food per month. This will get them started planning their budget and eventually they will be able to compare their spending with the average and see if they are over or under-spending. We know this is a big and important category for college students that is often forgotten. According to the statistic on a low-cost plan by the United States Department of Agriculture (n.d.) for the year 2012, the average amount spent on food per month was $233 for males and $203 for females. We will use the average of these amounts, $218, for our demonstration. o There will be a board on the table that will be split up into different amounts of money. Students will be asked to place their bet (chips) in the section of the board that has the amount the average person spends on food per month. The students that place their chips in the right category get the amount doubled and the rest lose their chips. o We will need two volunteers at this booth; one to run the game and one to explain the amounts for males vs. females and the importance of tracking your food spending. Just $5 a meal adds up quickly. Booth #4 - Credit: At this booth, students will get an idea of standard of credit scores, and they will gain knowledge of what can affect said scores. o This booth will have pictures of attractive and unattractive women. The attractive pictures will represent the high credit scores, and the unattractive will represent the low credit scores. There will be volunteers explaining what factors affect credit scores. Each student will be given a white board with an expo marker.

Volunteers will ask a variety of questions about factors of credit scores. For each correct answer the students get a chip. o This booth requires at least one volunteer but preferably two. Booth #5 - Tracking Spending: This booth is designed for students to get the idea of their own spending. Tracking personal expenses seems to be an overly emphasized tip that is constantly brought up by all financial planners. Its commonly agreed by various financial experts and institutions that the first step in budgeting is tracking expenses. It is suggested that receipts be kept and all purchases made be tracked. Money Instructor (n.d.) indicates that it is useful to divide spending into two main categories of expenses: essential and non-essential expenses. Essential expenses are expenses that are required for living. Non-essential expenses are the extra things you spend your money on. Additionally, essential expenses may be broken down into fixed expenses and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are consistent month to month and are things like car payments, rent, and insurance. Variable expenses change from month to month and include bills like food, gas, and bar tabs. o The students will be given another piece of paper that will assist them with tracking their spending for the next month. Instead of playing a game at this booth, volunteers will explain the next steps.

o Students will now gather at tables in the center of the room where they may add any other bills to their budget: car, rent, utilities, etc. Then, when they think they are done, they raise their hand to speak to a personal banker. o When a banker arrives they skim the budget, point out any possible missed items, and answer any questions the students may have. o This is where any documentation the student brought with them about their loans may come out and they can get advice about future loans. The banker will give the student a sticker in the shape of a dollar sign after speaking with them. As previously stated, this sticker will provide proof that the student not only attended, but participated until the end. They will be used to get prizes and receive extra credit from professors. The student with the most chips from each group of ten wins. This student can head over to the prize table which will have a variety of items for them to choose from. We will be seeking donations from local restaurants and companies in addition to purchased prizes included in our budget. We plan to average each prize around a $20-$25 budget. Ideally, we believe gift cards will be the most desirable prize to college students.

Thus, we reach the conclusion of our event. We will provide pizza and soda for students who participated in the event. A diagram of the event is included in the Appendix.

Our budgeting needs are based a quantity of 1,000 students attending the event. Budget may change based on student interest.
Budget Plan Budgeted Price Quantity Each 3 $0.00 30 $0.00 30 $0.00 30 $0.00 40 $16.00 40 2,000 20 40 2 20 3 1 2 250 42 1,000 200 1,500 1,000 $16.00 $1.00 $25.00 $100.00 $1.00 $7.14 3.99 $9.00 $5.00 $10.00

Item Galaxy Rooms Tables Linens Volunteers Bankers Hourly Bankers Personal Day Poker Chips Baskets Prizes Prize Wheel Mini White boards Expo Markers Misc Supplies Raffle Tickets $ Sign Stickers Food Drinks Pens Clipboards Paper Brochures

Extended Price $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $640.00 $640.00 $40.00 $20.00 $1,000.00 $200.00 $20.00 $21.42 $200.00 $3.99 $18.00 $1,250.00 $420.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $4,473.41

Total Budget

Poker Chips We were able to find a great local company that rents out casino equipment. We plan to rent 2,000 chips for $40.00 at Prizes

Whats a competition without some prizes? We have budgeted prizes for 40 groups at the prize value being $25 each. Only the top person from each group gets a prize. We will also be seeking donations for the other 60 groups expected from other local businesses that would like to help sponsor the event. Supplies for booths We budgeted to use 20 baskets that can be bought online or at a local dollar store for $1.00 each. The baskets will be used to hold poker chips and collect them from students at different locations. Booth #2 requires a prize wheel which will average $100. The best options found were available on which will also be easy to obtain. Booth #4 will require white boards and expo markers so the students can write their answers for the questions asked by the volunteers. These items were also found with listed prices on We would like to have a miscellaneous category for any other booth supplies that may come up (betting board for booth #3, attractive vs. unattractive credit scores, etc) Raffle Tickets and Stickers Both of these items were found on The ticket round comes with 2,000 tickets and the sticker packs, each come with 1,000. We overestimated the amount needed of these because it is critical that we have enough of each. Food The only thing college students love more than money is pizza. We will be providing pizza and soda to the students. Pens, Clipboards, Paper, and Brochures Our home office has agreed to provide these free of cost to us because they are already included in branch budgets. All items will include a ComericA logo. Galaxy Rooms, Tables, Linens These items are free for the event because we are partnering up with a student organization. We will ask the location to provide us with at least 35 tables to be used as the diagram of the event depicts.

Volunteers We will also be seeking at least 30 volunteers from the student organization. We will need students to run the booths (2 at each totaling 20), welcome table (2), prize table (2), and several to walk around and help anyone not knowing where to go and to cause life road bumps (6). Bankers Pay Five personal bankers will be needed to speak to students after booths and games to help them finish budgets and answer loan questions. We are offering the personal bankers that are attending the event a days pay at their normal rate of $16/hour and an extra personal day to be used by the end of the year. Their day will be considered an eight hour day even if it does not take that long which would total forty hours we need to pay. We accounted for the day of the event and the extra personal day.

The student population is in desperate need of financial guidance to reflect a positive outcome for their future. Our team personally believes by conducting this event, it will help students understand the importance of budgeting while attending college. The coordination of this event would create a long lasting impression in the community and future student prospects to come. If elected for this proposal, we can help lower the student debt population in the surrounding Dallas area. We would like to thank you for considering ComericA to represent this event and hope that our proposal will be suitable for your final decision.


References Accounting Leadership Association (2013). University of Texas at Dallas. Retrieved from ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions (n.d.). How Wants Will Sabotage Your Budget. Retrieved from ComericA (n.d.). Community Reinvestment. Retrieved from ComericA (n.d.). Company History. Retrieved from (n.d.). Student Credit & Debt Statistics. Retrieved from Ebrahimi, Rod (2012, May 08). The 4 Most Common Student Loan Problems and How to Fix Them.Forbes.


Retrieved from Ellis, Blake (2012, October 18). Average student loan debt nears $27,000. CNNMoney. Retrieved from The Huffington Post (2010, August 09). Student Loan Debt Outpaces Credit Card Debt. Retrieved from Khimm, Suzy (2011, October 19). The student debt crisis in one chart. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Ludlum, M., Tilker, K., Ritter, D., Cowart, T., Xu, W. & Smith, B. C. (2012). Financial Literacy and Credit Cards: A Multi Campus Survey. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 5, 25-30. Retrieved from Luhby, Tami (2012, October 03). Nearly one-in-five households have student loans. CNNMoney. Retrieved from Merzer, Martin (2012, April 09). Survey: Students fail the credit card test. Retrieved from Money, J. (2009, July 06). Best Free Budget Templates & Spreadsheets. Budgets are sexy. Retrieved from
12 (n.d.). How to Create a Personal Budget: Tracking Expenses. Retrieved from Mui, Ylan (2010, August 27). Credit card reform has companies treading lightly on campus. The Washington Post. Retrieved from Ready for zero (n.d.). Budgeting Tips Resource Center. Retrieved from Think your way to wealth (n.d.). Smart personal finance for building wealth. Retrieved from Tourylalai, Halal (2013, January 29). More Evidence On The Student Debt Crisis: Average Grad's Loan Jumps To $27,000. Forbes. Retrieved from United States Department of Agriculture (n.d.). Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home for U.S. Average at Four Cost Levels. Retrieved from