Financial Literacy – Council of Graduate Schools’ Enhancing Financial Education Project


The Council of Graduate Schools has launched a national project with TIAA-CREF to help graduate student with their financial literacy. UMBC is one of the schools that has received support from CGS for the “Enhancing Financial Education” program, PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP has been part of collaboration, by hosting programs at UMBC, but inviting graduate students from institutions within the University System of Maryland to participate.

GradSense Budget Calculator:

piggy-bank-w-mortarboard-orig (2)CGSGradSenseOwner


(More about UMBC’s program:

Please consider the following resources:

1) GradSense:

2) Financial Smarts @ UMBC:

Financial Smarts at UMBC


3) Select “Go Live” success seminars on “Financial Literacy” are being videotaped. In this segment, Mrs. Lori Jankalski (Executive Vice President CCCS of MD & DE, Inc.) discussed credit scores, credit reports, and consumer debt. Program: Credit Scores and Consumer Debt



Examples of past events:





11 thoughts on “Financial Literacy – Council of Graduate Schools’ Enhancing Financial Education Project

    • The comments section will list some of the events that have been hosted by this inititave.

    Credit Scores and Consumer Debt: Mrs. Deanna Booker

    This seminar was conducted on Nov 6th, 2013. Our guest Mrs. Deanna Booker, Communications and Outreach Manager for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware (CCCS), provided students with information regarding credit scores, credit reports and consumer debt. With an attendance of more than 50 students, the event received a great response.

    Event Details:
    Date: 6th November 2013
    Venue: UMBC University Center 310
    Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
    Number of attendees: 54

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  1. Long Term financial planning and saving for retirement: Heidi Locasto

    This seminar was conducted on March 5th 2014 as a part of Financial Literacy Go Live series. The speaker Heidi Locasto (Senior Manager, Individual Advisory Services Financial Services TIAA-CREF Financial Services) provided students valuable advice about long term financial planning and tips to start saving for retirement right from the beginning.

    Event Details:
    Date: 5th March 2014
    Venue: UMBC Commons 331
    Timing: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
    Number of attendees: 44

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  2. “Funding Your Graduate Education”: Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson and Dr. Ordóñez Rozo

    Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson and Dr. Ordóñez Rozo provided students with great tips and insights about application for the prestigious NSF GRFP Fellowship and general information about different fellowship and scholarship opportunities.
    This seminar received a wonderful response from students and we had a healthy turnout.

    Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson and Dr. Ordóñez

    Event Details:

    Date: 7th September 2013
    Venue: UMBC Commons 331
    Timing: 10:00am – 2:00pm
    Number of attendees: 54

    This seminar was again conducted in 2014. And similar to 2013, the response from students was great, with an even better turnout.

    Event Details:

    Date: 6th September 2014
    Venue: UMBC Sherman Hall 003
    Timing: 9:00am – 3:00pm
    Number of attendees: 63

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  3. Credit Scores and Consumer Debt: Lori Jankalski

    This seminar was conducted on Nov 19th 2014 as second seminar in the Financial Literacy Go Live series. Mrs. Lori Jankalski was the speaker for the seminar. Lori Jankalski is the Executive Vice President of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware, Inc. (CCCS).

    Mrs. Jankalski provided valuable information about credit scores and consumer debt. She answered numerous questions and provided students with practical tips that would help them maintain a good credit score and avoid situations that would hamper their credit scores.

    This seminar was very successful in terms of student turnout. A live telecast of this seminar was organized. Apart from the 48 students who attended the seminar in person, more than 23 students watched the seminar live through the webcast. The video was posted on the Financial Literacy Website and received more than 110 views in a week’s time.

    Date: 19th Nov 2014
    Venue: UMBC Commons 331
    Timing: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

    Number of attendees: 71
    (48 in person + 23 online)

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  4. Student Financial Perspectives Survey – 2013 and 2014

    This survey was a part of the Enhancing Student Financial Education project, which was conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC dedicated solely to the advancement of graduate education and research, with a grant from TIAA-CREF. The goal of the project was to provide best practices to universities to help them improve financial education, receive feedback about the financial circumstances faced by graduate students.

    Two iterations of the survey have been conducted. The first survey was conducted in September 2013. A total of 751 graduate students completed the survey. In order to study the impact of financial awareness activities happening on campus, a second iteration of the survey was conducted in October 2014. This survey was completed by 429 students.

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  5. Financial Literacy Website

    Financial Smarts @ UMBC ( provides students with the tools necessary to make informed and effective decisions about their finances. Managing money is an important part of one’s daily life and we encourage everyone, and especially students, to be well versed in this important life skill. The goal of the website is to provide the students timely and relevant resources so that they are as well-prepared to manage their budgets, bank accounts, assets and debt as they are to master their academic pursuit. This website is a living site. The UMBC Financial Literacy Team contributes to and monitors the content of this website.

    Financial Smarts Website

    Till date, the website has received 12,000+ hits since its inception in mid 2014. We keep updating the website with latest news, content and great financial resources. In order to maintain student involvement, the Financial Literacy workgroup organizes contests and surveys in a timely manner.

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  6. Financial Literacy “Time is Money” Contest

    Recently the Financial Literacy Workgroup at UMBC hosted a contest called “Time is Money” in order to increase financial awareness among students. Here is a link to the contest.

    Time is Money Contest

    The students were asked to submit a fun, creative and informative video 60-seconds or less for a chance to win exciting prizes. So far we have received a great response from the students. The results of this contest will be out by end of April 2015.

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  7. Developing a Budget and Personal Finance: Kevin Harris and Sonya Caesar

    This lunch seminar was conducted on 2nd October 2013 and we had Mr. Kevin Harris, CEO of Chicago’s Bedrock Assets and General manager of international BP Business and Sonya Caesar, Director of Money Matters. Mr. Harris talked to the students about budgets, spending patterns, debt reduction, and Future Financial Decisions – “How Budgeting Now Can Lead to Financial Savings Later”. Ms. Sonya Caesar provided an overview of importance of budgeting and provided students tips for creating a “Budget Worksheet”.

    Kevin Harris

    Detailed Agenda
    • 12:45 – Students arrive, get lunch
    • 1:00 – Welcome & Overview of Series
    • 1:05 – Overview of the importance of budgeting – Sonya Caesar
    • 1:10 – “Keynote” Budgeting, Saving, Debt, Spending Patterns”
    & “Future Financial Decisions – How Budgeting Now Can Lead to Financial Savings Later” – Kevin Harris
    • 1:35 – “Creating a Budget Worksheet” & Report out – Sonya Caesar.
    • 1:50 – Q & A
    • 2:00 – End formal session
    • 2:00 – 2:30 – Informal Q& A and Individual consultations with the speakers.

    Event Details:

    Date: 2nd October 2013
    Venue: UMBC Commons 329
    Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
    Number of attendees: 29

    — Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  8. SSI – Financial Literacy Lunch

    Lisa Fulco
    In this event, our speaker Lisa Fulco – Financial Advisor, TIAA-CREF, provided students insights about saving and debt. This event was sponsored by TIAA-CREF.

    The event was a part of the PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI). The PROMISE SSI provides professional development, encouragement, motivation, career advice, peer support, and camaraderie, for new/incoming graduate students, continuing graduate students (master’s and doctoral level, and the PP&Ps (Postdocs, Professors, and Professionals). This event is open to graduate students and postdocs throughout the state of Maryland, from any school within the University System of Maryland. PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is particularly focused on professional development for underrepresented students in STEM fields; broadly, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty from any group or discipline are warmly invited to attend.

    Event Details:

    Date: 15th August, 2014
    Venue: UMBC Commons 331
    Time: Noon – 1:00pm

    – Submitted by P. Waradpande, GA


  9. Managing student debt & building resources for your future

    Student loans can be daunting. Ever wondered how you could plan for your first car or your first home while also managing your current financial obligations?

    We organized this financial literacy seminar which aimed to provide helpful information to help students manage their mounting debts and at the same time saving up resources for their future needs.

    Shanna Smith
    AVP Branch Manager,
    Catonsville Branch, PNC

    Leslie McSweeney
    Campus Relations Manager, PNC

    — Submitted by:
    Piyush Waradpande, GA


  10. Wonderful! So simple. I think it could also be useful for everyone to know how and where to fill a form online. BTW, there is an online service through which you can fill out a WI DoR Schedule WD, the fillable blank is here


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