Survey Shows Imagine America Foundation’s Financial Planning Made Simple Video Impacts Students’ Borrowing Decisions

Washington, D.C. (April 04, 2012) – Today’s “college-ready” students must be prepared to handle more than just the academic rigors of obtaining a college degree. With the continuing rise of tuition costs, students now face an additional challenge: how to develop a personal budget that allows them to cover the day-to-day costs of living that won’t leave them crippled with debt after graduation.

Results from a recent survey of Imagine America applicants show that viewing a short video about the advantages of developing a personal budget can make an impact on what students borrow for college.

The Foundation’s Financial Planning Made Simple (FPMS) video tutorial is helping students attending “for-profit” colleges understand the financial decisions they are making and taking them step by step through the process of developing personal budgets. All Imagine America scholarship and award applicants are required to view the video in order to be eligible for a scholarship or award. Since its launch in March 2011, more than 10,000 applicants have watched the video tutorial.

According to the survey led by Wonderlic, the FPMS video tutorial is already impacting student borrowers. Ninety percent of respondents gave a favorable rating when asked if the FPMS video provided financial information that was useful to them. After watching the video, 15 percent of career college students strongly agreed that they decided to borrow less money for school; and 26 percent agreed. Overall, the video tutorial received a 41 percent favorable rating in encouraging students to borrow more conservatively.

The survey results also demonstrated other changes respondents made after viewing the video tutorial:

  • 54 percent eliminated "wants" from their budget
  • 50 percent created a budget
  • 48 percent re-evaluated their budget
  • 25 percent obtained part-time employment
  • 19 percent took out a lower amount of student loans

And, more than 95 percent of viewers said they would recommend the FPMS video tutorial to other students.

“The ability to budget is one of the most important skills someone can have before they step into the real world,” said Robert L. Martin, President of the Imagine America Foundation. “Without that skill, students don’t have the proper perspective for remaining financially stable. FPMS helps students learn the importance of budgeting before they graduate, so they aren’t facing difficult financial situations before they’ve begun their careers.”

The Imagine America Foundation is the leading scholarship and research organization for the career college sector of higher education. The Foundation developed FPMS as an online-based tool to help career college students protect their future by making responsible borrowing decisions. The program consists of an 18-minute animated video tutorial with the student’s choice of two avatars to walk them through the budgeting, borrowing and repayment process. The video gives students the opportunity to calculate their own budgets by using the downloadable FPMS Student Financial Planning Tool. It allows users to visually see exactly where their money is being spent in hopes of helping students to decrease overspending and increase their savings.

For more information about the Financial Planning Made Simple video tutorial or the related Wonderlic survey, contact Robert L. Martin, President of the Imagine America Foundation at (202) 336-6758 or bobm@imagine-america.org.

About the Imagine America Foundation
The Imagine America Foundation (IAF), established in 1982, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for education, research and training support for the career college sector. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided over $75 million in scholarship and award support for graduating high school seniors, adult learners and U.S. military personnel attending career colleges nationwide through its award-winning Imagine America(R) programs. The Foundation also publishes vital research publications for the higher education sector, honors achievement in career education and offers faculty development training. For more information about the Imagine America Foundation's programs, please visit www.imagine-america.org.