Scarlet to Black at Arkansas State University

By: Pamela Bowie, Senior Director of Admissions, Arkansas State University

Paying for college can be both “spooky” and “scary.” College cost vs. investment continues to be a topic discussed in university admission offices, high school counselor conference rooms, and around the dinner table. Because money matters, Arkansas State University began addressing gaps in financial literacy with the Scarlet to Black (S2B) Program beginning in April of 2018. The goal of S2B is to empower students, educate their families, and provide financial literacy sessions to the community. Through this program, S2B hopes to help the region around Arkansas State understand how they can afford college.

Current Arkansas State students are encouraged to complete online workshops through Blackboard, attend 10 different in person workshops, and compete in fun events such as financial themed scavenger hunts around campus.

There is a component centered entirely on incoming first-year students and their families called “A Howling Start to Your Future.” Students and their families attend informational sessions about semester billing statements, financial aid packages, student responsibilities for borrowing federal loans, terms and conditions for scholarships, and completing the FAFSA. Dr. Philip Tew, director of the program, told A-State campus news:

“Our goal with the program is for students to be able to follow their passion when it comes to their majors and careers and not be forced into certain areas just because they can’t afford to follow their passion.”