Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Trellis Company partner to publish Financial Wellness Learning Collaborative Report

Austin, TX – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), in partnership with Trellis Company, published a new report today that is focused on understanding and promoting student financial wellness efforts in Texas. The report finds that nearly 60% of students would struggle to find $500 in cash or credit for an emergency expense. It also includes recommendations for institutions to expand or improve student financial literacy and wellness programs.

The report is a product of the Financial Wellness Learning Collaborative, a group of higher education professionals from across the state who convened regularly throughout 2019 and 2020 to conduct the conversations and research that informed the report. The Collaborative discussed student financial wellness through three lenses: student-facing programs, policy and procedure that impacts student finances, and training for faculty and advisors.

“Helping students understand the financial choices they will make before, during, and after their postsecondary education and giving them the tools they need to achieve financial wellness are critical to students’ long-term success,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller.

This new report builds on recommendations from the 2017 Financial Literacy Advisory Committee report and sheds light on the student financial wellness efforts of higher education leaders both in Texas and nationwide. Key highlights include:

  • An overview of financial challenges faced by today’s students;
  • Takeaways from a 2019 survey on student financial literacy and wellness programs in Texas, including that 96% of responding institutions of higher education provide financial wellness services to students; and
  • Best practices for financial wellness efforts at Texas’ higher education institutions.

“Many Texas institutions are already leading the way,” said Renard Johnson, Interim President & CEO of Trellis Company. “I’m greatly encouraged by the ongoing efforts in rethinking communications and engagement with students about financial aid, and in investing more in student financial literacy programming. This report focuses on these institutions and their inspiring work.”

The report also showcases a training designed in partnership with Texas OnCourse, a state-funded initiative that improves college and career readiness and advising across the state. Texas OnCourse recently released online training modules for higher education advisors to understand students’ financial issues and challenges.

The report’s major findings will be discussed in a webinar on June 2, 2021, at 11 a.m. (Central Time). Those interested in attending can register for the webinar now. The full report can be accessed here.

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THECB Mission Statement
The mission of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is to provide leadership and coordination for Texas higher education and to promote access, affordability, quality, success, and cost efficiency through 60x30TX, resulting in a globally competitive workforce that positions Texas as an international leader.

About Trellis Company
Trellis Company is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation with the dual mission of helping student borrowers successfully repay their education loans and promoting access and success in higher education.

For over 40 years, we have had a successful track record of delivering positive outcomes for students and institutions. Our strong philanthropic heritage of giving through grants to colleges, universities, and research groups remains focused on improving student outcomes, especially to assist underserved students and families, and to help institutions navigate the changing landscape of higher education.

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