Welcome to Arkansas State University!

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Kays Foundation

Scarlet to Black

Program for Financial Independence

Prior research has shown that the main reason why students drop out of college and fail to complete their degree is related to money - lacking funds to pay for tuition, books, and supplies; funds running out before the end of the semester causing students to have to drop out and seek employment, or students working so many hours during the academic year that their grades suffer and they are unable to complete their education. The financial struggles do not end when a student receives a college diploma. Financial issues are a leading cause of divorce in the United States and a key factor in increased stress levels. Increased stress has been shown to cause a myriad of health problems.

Who are we?

The Kays Foundation Scarlet to Black Program for Financial Independence (Scarlet to Black, S2B) was created in April 2018 and started with our Director, Dr. Tew, sharing his financial wellness knowledge through presentations. After the first student workers were hired in August 2019, the program transformed into a peer-led financial wellness program with our Financial Wellness Interns creating their own materials, hosting events, and educating our students. Scarlet to Black strives to empower our students, with a specific emphasis on first-year students, with the knowledge and tools to make smart financial decisions and continue through their higher education journey.

What do we do?

To assist the Red Wolf Nation in achieving these goals, the S2B Program utilizes multiple avenues to reach students where they are. At the beginning of each academic year, every first-year student at A-State attends the First-Year Financial Wellness Boot Camp, where Dr. Tew provides a discussion on the importance of budgeting, how to budget, needs vs wants, debt, and planning for the future. Throughout the academic year, S2B hosts podcasts and blogs every other week in addition to regular information-sharing through tabling and social media. We also have special events such as our Duck Hunts, Card Cart, and more!

Students who are interested in a more in-depth coverage of financial wellness topics are encouraged to take FIN 2013, Personal Asset Management. The course is taught every semester by our Assistant Director and is open to any student on campus with no prerequisites required.

For those students who would like some one-on-one guidance, reach out to S2B to set up a meeting. We can assist you with developing or altering budgets, filling out FAFSA or scholarship applications, creating a resume or finding a job on campus, and so much more. These meetings can be done in-person, via videoconference, or through phone calls and emails.

What else do we do?

In partnership with the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy and student organization Future Business Leaders of America, Scarlet to Black hosts several conferences throughout the year for K-12 students. We currently have four conferences scheduled, two for 3rd-6th grade, one for 6th-8th, and one for 9th-12th. More information on these conferences will be posted on the Center’s page when available.

S2B conducts research that looks at different aspects of financial wellness among college students. Since 2015, Dr. Tew has conducted an annual survey to determine the financial literacy, financial-induced stress, and financial wellness of the incoming first-year class. Additional research is conducted by members of the S2B team and has been presented at conferences around the country. Additional information on presented and ongoing research can be found under the section entitled “Honors, Awards, and Research”.

In the past, we have partnered with the H.O.W.L. Transition Program for one-on-one and group financial wellness training and Jonesboro Cane Connect for a financial wellness/nutrition after-school program. We are always looking for partnership opportunities!

Talk to us!

Members of Scarlet to Black have spoken to groups, classes, companies, and organizations with ages ranging from 3rd grade through soon-to-be retired. Topics have included budgeting, the stock market, economics, entrepreneurship, and other financial wellness topics. If you are interested in Scarlet to Black speaking to your organization or class, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Tew.

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Hear more about us from two of our first Financial Wellness Interns: