The Rhode Island Treasurer's Office and Citizens Bank today hosted a virtual event for high school students in Rhode Island who have participated in Pathways: Financing Higher Education, an interactive digital financial education program. Pathways was designed to help students navigate the student loans process and prepare for life after high school.
The virtual event was emceed by Dhani Jones, entrepreneur and former NFL player, and featured a panel discussion with Charon Rose, Deputy Treasurer of Financial Empowerment and Community Outreach in the Office of the Rhode Island General Treasurer, Christine Roberts, Head of Student Lending at Citizens Bank, Mindy Hager, Senior Vice President of Student Lending Sales at Citizens Bank, and Cheryl Murray, a local business educator from Lincoln High School.
During the event, panelists shared information for students and their families on how to save for higher education, how to apply for financial aid assistance through FAFSA, and other important considerations to keep in mind when accepting offer letters from colleges. The event concluded with a trivia game to provide students with an opportunity to showcase their learnings from the Pathways course.
"As General Treasurer, my top priority is promoting economic security for all Rhode Islanders," said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "To set young people up for financial success, we are advancing legislation to ensure that all students have access to financial education and we have made Rhode Island's CollegeBound Saver one of the top rated college savings plans in the country. I am grateful for the educators who work hard every day to build a bright future for Rhode Island students, and to community partners like Citizens Bank and EVERFI for providing vital resources for financial education in the classroom."
A former public school teacher, Treasurer Magaziner has prioritized making higher education more accessible and affordable for every Rhode Island student. When he took office, he overhauled Rhode Island's 529 savings plan, CollegeBound Saver, which allows Rhode Island students and their families to save for higher education, college, vocational school, or apprenticeships in a tax-advantaged way with no minimum deposit. CollegeBound Saver is now one of the top-rated 529 programs in the country, with a 5/5 rating from savingsforcollege.com, nearly 200,000 accounts, and over $5.2 billion in assets.
Citizens Bank teamed up with education technology provider EVERFI to create Pathways: Financing Higher Education with the goal of developing informed consumers and preparing students to make wise financial decisions when considering how to best finance their higher education. The Pathways curriculum aligns with state, national, and Jump$tart Coalition financial literacy standards.
"Empowering students with the skills and knowledge they need to make important financial decisions is critical to ensuring that all students understand the steps they can take to make their higher education dreams a reality," said Christine Roberts, head of Student Lending for Citizens. "We are thrilled to be working with EVERFI and the Rhode Island Treasurer's office to equip as many Rhode Island students as possible with these critical financial literacy skills."
Citizens sponsors the Pathways: Financing Higher Education course as part of their College Bound Citizens program for high school students. Since its launch in 2019, the College Bound Citizens program has reached more than 800 schools across the country.
To learn more about topics related to financing higher education and financial foundations, visit Citizens' Financing College Resource Center for Families: https://citizens.everfi.com/
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About Rhode Island State Treasurer's Office The Office of the General Treasurer was established under the Rhode Island Constitution as one of the five general State Officers elected by the voters. As custodian of State funds, Treasurer Magaziner is responsible for the safe and prudent management of the State's finances. Treasurer Magaziner is working to strengthen our state's financial and economic foundation through programs and initiatives which include responsible stewardship of the State's financial accounts and investments; a pension system devoted to ensuring retirement security for Rhode Island teachers, State and municipal employees, public safety officers and other public servants; a compensation program to assist Rhode Islanders who are victims of violent crimes; collection and safe custody of Rhode Islanders' lost and unclaimed property; and administration of CollegeBound Saver, a tax-efficient savings program to help Rhode Islanders prepare for the expense of pursuing higher education.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions, with?$187.2 billion?in assets as of March 31, 2021. Headquartered in?Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,000 ATMs and approximately 1,000 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities.
About EVERFI, Inc. EVERFI is an international technology company driving social change through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to prescription drug safety to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community engagement platform and has reached more than 41 million learners globally. Recognized as one of the World's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2020, EVERFI powers community engagement in a sustained manner to empower individuals and organizations to make an impact within their communities. The Company also convenes Networks to bring together financial institutions, colleges and universities, and some of the largest corporations to leverage insights and connections to drive impact. Some of America's leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, as well as Advance, Rethink Education and Rethink Impact.