New project: Student debt and financial needs

Patrick S. Osmer — January 16, 2013

Pat Osmer

Financing a graduate degree is a serious undertaking, as is managing debt. This is one of the major challenges facing students, families, and colleges and universities in the U.S. today.

I am well-aware of the financial challenges faced by some of our graduate students, and I’m glad to announce that I will be working on a national project focused on these issues.

The Council of Graduate Schools recently received a grant from TIAA-CREF, which provides retirement services and financial advice for nonprofit employees, especially those in academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. TIAA-CREF is supporting a research project on graduate and undergraduate student debt and financial literacy, and I will be serving on the advisory committee.

 The project is designed to spark university collaborations to hone students’ financial skills at a time when public funding is decreasing and student debt is rising. Colleges and universities will compete for funding to design programs that prepare students to play an active role in managing their personal finances and making informed decisions about saving, spending and borrowing.

As part of the advisory committee, I will help identify student financial education trends and needs as well as what data the project should collect. The committee will also help CGS establish the criteria for selection of the 15 collaborating universities.

I am looking forward to this work because it has real implications for our current and future graduate students and their ability to pursue a graduate degree and career pathways that draw upon that degree. If you have observations or suggestions for me as I participate in this project, please let me know. I will also share with you any resources as they come to my attention.

Patrick S. Osmer is vice provost of graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School at Ohio State. He is also a recent past chair of the board of directors for the Council of Graduate Schools. Osmer was chair of the Ohio State astronomy department from 1993-2006.

Comments

MH
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Sun January 20, 2013, 20:48:25
Will these retirement services and benefits be only available to those retiring in the state of Ohio and working in long-term positions? This is how our current retirement plan works.
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