Butler University and its credit union partner, Elements Financial, are teaming up to promote student financial literacy through a new online training program called FinancialEdu. The program, which launched in January, is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge on topics such as student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving. The program is just one piece of an overall suite of financial wellness offerings provided by Elements to the Butler community as part of a robust corporate partnership, which began in 2016.
The student financial literacy training is the latest addition to the Career & Life Skills module of BU|BeWell, Butler’s holistic student experience framework built around eight dimensions of overall well-being. The new program was born out of conversations among a group of leaders in the Butler community determined to address the root causes of financial stress among students. After brainstorming discussions and a joint financial investment, Elements and Butler joined forces to offer the FinancialEdu training library to all Butler students, faculty, and staff. Beginning this academic year, the basic training module is now required for all first-year students.
“BU|BeWell is a proactive approach to well-being, not a reactive approach, so having this tool allows us to get out in front of this issue of financial stress for students,” says Josh Downing, Butler’s Director of Recreation and Wellness. “If we can get this training to first-year students and make it a requirement, we can provide them with foundational tools that will help them along their journey at Butler and through the rest of their lives. We’re grateful to be able to lean on the expertise provided by Elements Financial to bring this program to the Butler community.”
Kara Fischer, Elements’ Relationship Manager at Butler, already offers in-person financial wellness workshops, guest lectures in classes, and one-on-one consultations for Butler students and employees on a variety of financial topics including financial life after college, understanding credit, investment fundamentals, and more. Downing says BU|BeWell stakeholders across campus are becoming familiar with the additional training modules available within the FinancialEdu program, and he foresees the online training modules building upon the in-person offerings to better prepare students for life after Butler.
The financial literacy training works hand-in-hand with other efforts across campus to address student financial stress, including the Office of Financial Aid’s commitment to educating students about over-borrowing to finance their education, the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund, a recent freeze on tuition, and a new scholarship established by Randy and Libby Brown to provide support to current Butler students who are financing their education primarily through student loans. Together, Butler and Elements aim to prepare students for a lifetime of financial wellness.
“We’re proud to partner with Butler University in multiple ways,” says Ron Senci, Executive Vice President at Elements Financial. “Most important to us is working with faculty, staff, and students in the area of financial wellness education. This connection allows us to empower the Butler community to achieve personal financial success, which is our core purpose at Elements Financial. It’s been exciting to see our relationship grow year over year, since it formally began in 2016, and we look forward to creating new initiatives with Butler.”
The partnership exemplifies the purpose and potential of the University’s efforts to forge new collaborative relationships in the community through its Butler Beyond comprehensive campaign and strategic direction. Along with the new financial literacy training and the existing financial wellness workshops, Elements has invested extensively in Butler’s educational mission through sponsorships and philanthropic donations that have touched nearly every part of campus life.
In total, Elements is investing more than $400,000 in the Butler community through a range of initiatives including an endowed scholarship for students studying in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and capital support for the new facility housing the Andre B. Lacy School of Business. Elements Financial also serves as sponsor of the Butler Magazine, the annual faculty staff picnic, and Bulldog Boulevard during Homecoming, and is the exclusive provider of the Butler-branded VISA® debit card and the Butler University Rewards VISA® Credit Card.
“Butler University is fortunate to have such an engaged and committed partner in Elements Financial,” says Butler Vice President for Advancement Jonathan Purvis. “Since our partnership began in 2016, Elements has become increasingly invested in the Butler community, not only financially, but also through their support of a broad range of initiatives across campus. It has been gratifying to see this relationship grow to the point of co-developing this financial literacy training for students. We are extremely grateful for the holistic nature of our partnership with Elements Financial.”
About Elements Financial
Elements Financial is a diversified federal credit union with assets of more than $2.0 billion and 100,000+ members in all 50 states and 50 foreign countries. As a financial wellness provider, Elements serves individuals through our original sponsor, Eli Lilly and Company, and more than 150 companies across Indiana and nationally. Beyond our Elements branches in Central Indiana, we provide access to more than 5,000 shared branch locations nationally and 78,000 surcharge-free ATMs globally. Elements Wealth Management is a full-service investment management and financial planning firm with $900 million in assets under management. Elements is known for higher deposit rates, lower loan rates, and fewer fees. Join us at elements.org to learn more. Federally Insured by the NCUA
About Butler Beyond
Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.