Video: Program Eases School-Life Juggling Act

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USA Funds Life Skills

See why a St. Philip’s College student says USA Funds Life Skills was critical in helping him balance school and life. Located in San Antonio, the school provides USA Funds’ financial literacy and student success program to first-time students.

As a 35-year-old working father of three, Geraldo Arredondo already had plenty on his plate. Then he added college to
the mix.


“I’m on the run — that’s my life,” says Arredondo. “Good study habits were hard to develop because I have to balance family, work and school. But USA Funds Life Skills® teaches you how to do it.”


Arredondo is a first-year student at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. Currently a certified nurse aide, he plans to study diagnostic medical sonography to prepare for a career performing ultrasound procedures.


USA Funds Life Skills taught Arredondo a variety of lessons about managing money and navigating college life. But the message that made the biggest impact is the one that addressed his greatest obstacle to postsecondary school completion: finding ways to study effectively.


“I learned that it’s important to make time — to find a good, quiet place and those two hours for studying,” says Arredondo, who has two sons who are teens and one son who is an infant.


“Developing good study habits has been a big plus for me.”


USA Funds Life Skills is a Web-based financial literacy and student success program that equips postsecondary schools to teach students about time and money management. The curriculum aims to help students successfully complete college with a minimum amount of debt.


USA Funds Life Skills received a gold medal for learning excellence through the Brandon Hall Group 2013 Excellence in Learning Awards Program.


St. Philip’s College offers USA Funds Life Skills in financial literacy and college success training that starts when students first come to campus. USA Funds provided St. Philip’s College a grant of more than $93,000 in 2013 to support the school’s efforts to promote default prevention and college completion.


Participants in St. Philip’s College’s new-student orientation learn about costs related to attending the school through a game show-style program featuring students from the audience.


The next phase of financial literacy and student success training comes as part of a course for all first-time students. Lessons from the 33 USA Funds Life Skills courses are part of the class curriculum.


“We want to catch students early in their career here, because they need to understand that what they do now will affect them for a lifetime,” says Sherrie Lang, St. Philip’s College vice president of student success.


“Offering financial literacy and student success training is important not only for our institution and its student loan default rate, but also for students,” Lang says. “They need the best opportunity possible for their best life financially.”


It’s that best life that’s driving Arredondo to earn his degree.


“I’m tired of living paycheck to paycheck, and I want to show my children that education is important,” he says. “But 17 years out of school can make college a scary thing. USA Funds Life Skills is making it a little easier.”



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