New Money Management Office helps students master financial matters

Every little saving will aid further education.

With the help of a $1.7 million Department of Education grant, Austin Community College’s Student Money Management Office is taking aim at one of the biggest roadblocks to students earning a degree.

Karen Serna

Karen Serna directs the Student Money Management Office.

“Paying for college is more than just finding enough money to cover tuition, fees and books,” says Karen Serna, who joined ACC in February to direct the office. “We want to prevent financial issues from derailing students’ plans and provide tools to help students — regardless of how much money they have — successfully manage their finances.”

The office offers a range of workshops, opportunities for one-on-one guidance, and online resources to help students keep their financial plans on track.


Faculty or students can request a workshop for their class or organization. Interested individuals can request a specific topic for a 30-minute or 1-hour session or choose from a list of suggested workshops (pdf). Student Money Management Office staff also will talk to groups about their services or provide slides with scripts for other presenters to use. Request a workshop.

In September the office will partner with the Financial Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, Cornerstone Financial Education and Foundation Communities to offer free student workshops on managing credit and covering semester expenses with financial aid and scholarships. Lunchtime and evening sessions are scheduled at nine campuses. See a schedule of workshops.

The office also has developed a financial education lesson that can be used by instructors who teach ACC’s student success course (EDUC 1300). Students who complete the lesson receive a set of ear buds (to access online content) and a 2017 planner. Other professional development opportunities are designed to help faculty and staff teach personal finance topics.


Students and employees can connect with the Student Money Management Office on Facebook (ACCMoneyManagement) and Twitter (ACCMoney512) for information, activities, and tips.

Students can sign up for text message alerts and reminders about tuition and financial aid deadlines.

In January the office plans to launch a text messaging program to send alerts and reminders about tuition and financial aid deadlines. Students also will be able text questions to ACC’s financial aid staff. More than 1,000 students already have signed up for the program. Sign up for the text messaging program (pdf).

Learn more

The Student Money Management Office website features budgeting tools, tax preparation help, and information about scheduling a personal financial coaching session (provided in-person by Foundation Communities and by phone by TG). The office plans to continue adding online resources that are particularly relevant to students, such as a textbook cost comparison tool.

For more information visit the Student Money Management Office website (

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