Arjana’s Take on iGrad, the Financial Wellness Program for Students

I spent a small part of my Friday afternoon exploring iGrad. iGrad is a website that helps college students and graduates receive a custom financial literacy program. The website serves over 1.2 million students across 500 schools and organizations around the country. When I first opened up the web page, it was super easy to set up an account. I appreciated this because, as a college student, life is already difficult enough and a lot of programs we have to use make you do flips and tricks just to start up an account.

Visually, the website is pleasing. I can definitely appreciate a pretty screen when talking about finances because, as you know, sometimes that black and white screen can put you to sleep quicker than NyQuil!

When starting up with iGrad, you answer some questions about your personal life and finances, which I always seem to find interesting. (Tell me Mr.Computer assessment, what do you think about my life decisions?) I began a short interactive course on budgeting and savings called “Creating a Budget and Sticking To It” (one of my personal favorite financial topics) which was filled with attention grabbing information. I won’t spoil it for you but let’s just say you’ll definitely be rethinking your spending habits! What I liked about this course was that it seemed to really want to help you- not make you feel poorly about your financial decisions.

This iGrad course helps you come up with a plan and budget after evaluating your personal finances. You aren’t left feeling that hopeless pit in your stomach that reviewing your financial habits can give you. iGrad makes building a budget fun, exciting, and colorful. You are able to customize your account to your liking. (Think of this as a Myspace but solely for financial education, if you can imagine that.) The content is generated for you with a customizable profile screen.

I’ve been studying financial literacy for the last 8 months with the Peer Money Mentor Program. Click here to learn more about ACC’s PMMP. I have this information engraved in my head but when it comes to finances you can never learn too much about something. Finances are ever changing and having a helping hand, like iGrad, throughout college can help you navigate and take control of your money.

P.S Best piece of advice for a college student from a college student: if it’s free, take the help. iGrad is free when you sign up with your college email. Even if it’s just something you do once, you never know how beneficial something can be if you don’t try it!