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February 27, 2013

Smart investing seminar at library will target teens

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

In an effort to help high school students figure out how to afford college tuition, navigate the financial aid process, know when it’s OK to use credit cards and how to manage the debt after graduation, the Troy library will offer a program to fill the bill.

The Troy Public Library was awarded a $65,175 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association as part of the Smart Investing @Your Library program. The Troy library was one of 14 across the country to win the competitive grant.

The Troy program, titled “Financial Planning for Your College and Future,” is primarily aimed at high school students to help them set a financial plan for college and beyond.

The sessions will start next fall, continue through June and feature financial basics including budgets, banking and how to afford college. It will highlight skills college students will need to manage finances while the attending school and after graduation, as well as information on investing and how to plan for retirement. 

The program will follow a seminar format and be presented at the Troy library technology center and at Troy High School, Athens High School and possibly the International Academy – East. 

“The program will provide nonbiased financial information,” Troy Library Director Cathy Russ said. In addition, all information presented in the sessions will be available on the “Financial Planning for Your College and Future” website that will be developed after the program starts next fall.

Russ explained that 34 libraries across the country applied for the grants, which ranged from $40,000 to $100,000.

“The libraries participating in this grant program make reliable financial information and education readily accessible in their communities,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation, in a prepared statement.

“Libraries are paying close attention to their communities’ needs and aspirations, and can respond in creative, sustainable ways to help residents achieve financial goals for themselves and their families,” she added.

Representatives from Oakland University will explain the financial aid process, and GreenPath Debt Solutions will give students information on sound financial practices. Walsh College will also provide instructional support.

The Friends of the Troy Public Library will work with the library to offer a scholarship program for outstanding students who participate, Russ added.

The library plans to get the word out about the free program in coming months so the community is aware of it and takes advantage of it, Russ said.

“I think this will be great way to prepare for college and retirement,” she said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.