Iowa State’s “Cash Cab” celebrates National Financial Literacy Month


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The Office of Student Financial Success will host events throughout April to celebrate National Financial Literacy Month. 

Maris Cameron

The Office of Student Financial Success will be hosting various events throughout the month of April to celebrate National Financial Literacy Month. Among these events is a golf cart “Cash Cab” that will be operating on campus from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27.

Similar to award-winning game show host and comedian Benjamin Bailey’s Cash Cab, Iowa State’s Cash Cab will transport students across campus. On the way to their destination, the cab driver will ask passengers questions related to personal finance. 

Students who answer the trivia questions correctly will receive prizes such as gift cards and apparel donated by local businesses. However, students will be “kicked out” in the middle of their journey if they answer questions incorrectly. 

Isaac Ehlers, the assistant director for student financial success, is responsible for coordinating the financial literacy programming at Iowa State. Ehlers also works with loan repayment outreach initiatives and helps students achieve their academic and financial goals. 

Ehlers shared his vision regarding the financial literacy celebration.

“I hope we have large turnouts for our Group Exit Counseling and Post-Grad Finances presentations so we can help graduating students prepare for life after ISU,” Ehlers said. “We’ve hosted workshops, but this year we are trying more ways to engage with students.”

Iowa State encourages students to master finances right from the start. The Board of Regents requires incoming freshmen to complete Cyclone CashCourse, a financial literacy class. The course is intended to help Iowa State students gain an understanding of the financial world. 

Ehlers mentions how many students often end up misunderstanding key concepts of financial literacy by simply not engaging in the world of personal finance.

“I think one mistake a lot of students make is just not learning about financial literacy concepts first hand,” Ehlers said. “A lot of students rely on family or friends’ stories to learn about financial literacy, but don’t often take a driver’s seat in learning.”

The Office of Student Financial Success encourages students to view financial literacy as an important life skill. The office wishes to develop a culture where students feel free to ask questions and not be afraid to seek assistance.

“A lot of students don’t know our office exists within the Office of Student Financial Aid,” Ehlers said. “Our goal is to increase awareness around campus and provide large-scale, group-oriented learning opportunities so students don’t feel alone in learning.”

From budgeting, student loans and building credit scores, the Office of Student Financial Success has helped students manage and master the basic principles of financial literacy. The department continues to act as a constant resource for Iowa State students. 

“We also help students develop their post-graduation budgets to help them understand how their new job offer and perhaps a new larger salary can be budgeted and what they can afford,” Ehlers said.

Students wanting to enhance their financial literacy skills can visit the office’s website. Visitors can schedule a free and personal advising appointment by using the Navigate Student app.