April is Financial Wellness Month, and Samantha Smith has taken on the ask as the university’s new Financial Wellness Coordinator of sharing information with the student body.

“Denison has made it a point to become more involved in financial wellness,” said Smith. After forming a Financial Wellness Committee comprised of numerous staff members across different departments, the school brought Smith on board this February to spearhead the group and help facilitate their plans.

Smith’s position of Financial Wellness Coordinator came as a result of a year-long analysis of the overall financial well-being of students on campus. Ultimately, the project was undertaken to help identify and eliminate financial stressors on students.

What is financial wellness? Smith defines it as the following: “An approach to financial education that emphasizes overall financial health in addition to real working knowledge and tools for money management.”

Smith hopes to serve as a reliable and trustworthy outlet for financial needs of the students at Denison. She comments on the shocking reality behind students’ current understanding of college loans.

“I keep reading more and more about studies that show that a huge percentage of students don’t even understand if they have student loans, or how to read them — they don’t understand what the payment plan looks like after graduation,” said Smith.

Smith and the Financial Wellness Committee are in the midst of a handful of events they have planned for April where they hope to get people thinking about their finances. On top of that, Smith really wants to get the word out that she is here and available as a resource.

The first event that was held this past week was an informational tabling session regarding equal pay in the United States. They tabled in Slayter on Tuesday, April 2 which is also known as Equal Pay Day; “That’s the date that a woman has to work up until to make the same amount that a man made the previous year,” said Smith. To help raise awareness, they handed out PayDay candy bars and shared tips with students about equal pay.

The next main event Smith has planned for Financial Wellness Month is “Credit is Buying Power: Learn the Basics with PNB.” Representatives from Park National Bank will be holding a game-style talk with rewards to help erase the myths behind credit, and discuss the risks and benefits that come with having a credit card. Raising Canes will be provided for all of those who attend on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. in Talbot 229.

Be sure to keep an eye out for posters around campus for the rest of the month, along with the Cash Cab event from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on April 17 in Slayter.

Smith wants everyone to remember that “financial wellness wraps up into your emotional and physical well-being.”

Everyone has different financial stressors that they’re dealing with and Smith is here to help as Denison’s Financial Wellness Coordinator. Sign up for a one-on-one appointment today using the QR-code below.