UBC Undergraduate Research

Investing in the Future : Improving Financial Literacy among Students in UBC Chang, Edward; Nauss, Nicole; Rui, Ellie; Sutter, Sam; Yao, Lynette


As of now, Enrolment Services (ES) is providing financial wellness support for UBC students. The current initiatives are not gaining sufficient traction, which is why our team has formed a series of recommendations to enhance these services. The purpose of this report is to identify the issues ES is currently facing, specifically in regards to international students, and to provide strategic initiatives to circumvent these problems. Client Information: ES provides a broad scope of registrarial services to support UBC students with various offerings. ES’ overarching strategic goal is that current and prospective students encounter a “holistic, engaged and outstanding” experience during their time at UBC. In order for this to happen, ES aims to grow their financial wellness “peer program” as well as the general financial wellness program at UBC. Within ES, there are currently 42 Enrollment Services Professionals (ESPs) and 3 associate ESPs. The ESPs offer individual advising to all UBC students in the area of finances; specifically, financial wellness strategy involving budgeting, student loans, scholarships, and emergency funding. Students are able to take advantage of these offerings by attending workshops, watching webinars and meeting with advisors one on one. Current programs are being advertised through cohort emails, notifying faculty directly, posts to UBCfyi and additional information on their website. Decision Making: After our team discussed ES’ ongoing efforts and options, we have determined that despite decent offerings, they need to improve delivery methods and relevancy. Our project aims to provide strategic recommendations to enable ES to have the following outcomes: Increase student awareness and participation by offering programs suited to international students’ most relevant financial wellness concerns; and overall improved financial literacy for international students. In order to achieve the outcomes shown above, our team has identified three phases of recommendations for ES. We believe that previously ES has been somewhat neglecting international students – which is a large portion of UBC’s population. Thus, within the first phase, our goal is to increase promotion among these international students. In the second phase, we recommend expanding and improving the Financial Wellness Peer Program. As more international students become aware of ES’s financial wellness offerings, they will be more likely to become involved in the peer program. Finally, in phase three, to bring the previous two recommendations together we have generated an entirely new offering – peer-led financial literacy workshops. Our report is designed to take ES through our process of identifying the issues at hand, developing methods to overcome them, and providing any financial implications. Additionally, in order to ensure the success of the implementations, we formed success metrics and risk and mitigation strategies. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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