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Making sense of student finances

While college demands a significant investment of time and money, the potential gains are substantial, ranging from higher career earnings to fulfilling career paths. However, financial stress unfortunately can be a part of the journey for many college students.

In data collected from the Student Financial Wellness Survey in Fall 2022, 71% of respondents said they have experienced financial difficulty while enrolled. Although the University of Utah did not increase tuition this year, some students may be grappling with inflation in other aspects of their lives, such as housing, food, and transportation costs. Additionally, many incoming freshman students living away from home for the first time quickly feel the pressure of paying for everyday necessities like utilities, groceries, and household items.

Understanding where to begin with finances can be challenging, and many students choose to ignore their financial struggles. Thankfully, the Financial Wellness Center is here to help. Established in 2011, the Financial Wellness Center is a free resource for students that addresses financial stress and guides them toward success at the university and beyond. The center offers a wide range of services for students at different stages of their financial journey, including:

  • One-on-one sessions with trained peer mentors or accredited financial counselors.
  • Workshops covering diverse financial topics like school expenses, budgeting, and investing.
  • Financial check-ups featuring actionable steps to evaluate and enhance financial situations.
  • FREE resources for filing student taxes and navigating the tax process.

Beyond these services, the center also offers fun and engaging learning opportunities year-around. Students can participate in Financial Wellness Bingo to win a $5 gift card to Two Creek Coffee on campus. To get started, visit the center located at the Union room #317 to pick up a bingo card. Moreover, students have the opportunity to earn a gift card by participating in the online Budget Challenge.

Students who engage with the Financial Wellness Center experience significant decreases in financial stress and often feel empowered to create and pursue their financial goals, including graduation.

“Since visiting the Financial Wellness Center, I am no longer scared to talk about money,” said an anonymous student. “The counselor’s approach helped me work through some shame and guilt I felt about my financial struggles.”

Follow the center on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter to stay connected and get updates on events. To schedule appointments, visit