The Lion's Roar

Making fiscal sense

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

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College students learn about various topics in their classes, and the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance hopes to help those students become financially literate in paying for those classes.

The “Financial Literacy for You” tour is scheduled to stop by the university on Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. For the four days that follow Monday, the tour will stop at four other postsecondary institutions.

At the event, students can learn more about financial aid opportunities, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and eligibility for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students. This information will be presented through theatre that incorporates song and dance. Timenee Thomas, field outreach services youth advocacy specialist for LOSFA, discussed using theatre as a medium for the message.

Thomas said, “It allows us to expose students to the theatre experience if they may not otherwise have that chance in addition to keeping up with current trends, videos and music while providing a holistic college access platform.”

Besides the performance, attendees will also receive financial aid and admissions information from the university, a dining experience and a tour. Thomas shared what reception the tour has received in over six years of its running.

“Over time, students have received acceptances from sites offering instant admissions,” said Thomas. “Middle and high schools have brought along multiple groups of students to both the fall and spring shows, and many of the sites have requested performances for special groups such as incoming freshmen and parents alike.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 85 percent of first time, full-time undergraduate students received financial aid at four-year postsecondary institutions in the 2015-16 academic year.

In fall 2017, 14,308 students were enrolled at the university. Of 9,020 full time undergraduate students, 5,636 received financial aid with $23,048,337 total awarded in total need-based scholarships and grants. The Controller’s Office estimated that tuition and fees were around $4,300 for undergraduates in fall 2018 and spring 2019. Based on such information, it is important for students to know how to best utilize financial aid.

“Having students to understand financial literacy in its fullness, that includes both college access and lifestyle responsibilities, are factors in postsecondary success and beyond,” said Thomas. “Being in a positon to help them make the connection between decisions that are made now and what impact they will have in the future is the gap that is filled with FLY.”

To learn more about financial aid options and eligibility, mark Sept. 17 on the calendar for the “Financial Literacy for You” tour.

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