Serving some 32,000 learners each year, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College supports the development of a skilled workforce by providing education, training, and life-long learning opportunities for individuals and businesses.
While approximately 80 percent of NWTC’s student population receives some form of financial aid, students still face financial barriers to stay enrolled. Interventions like an emergency fund and an on-campus food pantry help address student financial needs in the short term, but an analysis of the financial needs of its learners—including talking directly with students and listening to insights from faculty and staff—helped NWTC recognize that a more comprehensive response would help address the heart of the financial stresses that many NWTC students experience.
To help address that broader need, NWTC created the Financial Wellness Center, an on-site collaborative financial coaching and financial literacy program. Through workshops, events, and one-on-one coaching, students learn how to build personal budgets, understand their credit scores, and manage personal debt, including their student loans. The center’s ultimate goal is to help students increase their financial literacy and lower their financial stress by learning how to be “fiscally fit.” Apart from helping individuals improve their financial wellness, the college also views the program as an important strategy for helping to improve retention and graduation rates of low-income students.