Financial Genius unites all aspects of U.S. Bank’s financial capability programs and curriculum reflecting our commitment to empower individuals with financial education throughout every stage in life.
Financial Awareness Education
Investing in financial education is an investment in our future. Providing opportunities for children and adults to learn and apply the skills necessary to create brighter futures for themselves and their families fosters communities that are progressive and self-sufficient.
Financial education can also break the cycle of poverty. Individuals who have experience handling a bank account and an awareness of other effective money management and asset building techniques are more likely to pass these skills on to their children.
U.S. Bank is committed to supporting our communities by empowering individuals with financial education. U.S. Bank’s Financial Genius program focuses on:
- Improving and increasing the use of technology and online learning in financial education
- Providing K--12 educators with innovative tools and resources for classroom instruction
- Pairing financial education with banking services to encourage experiential learning
U.S. Bank Economic Empowerment Program at California State University, Fullerton
The U.S. Bank Economic Empowerment Program, operated through California State University Fullerton's Center for Economic Education, focuses on financial education training for middle and high school teachers as well as the creation of a Youth IDA program for low- and moderate-income students in the Fullerton area.
The five-year goal for participants in the U.S. Bank Economic Empowerment Youth IDA program is to save money towards a post-secondary education. The program currently serves 84 students and their families. Close to 80% of the parents have household incomes less than the county’s median household income and 68% have not set aside money for college. Participants are to deposit a minimum of $10 each month for five years. Upon successful completion of the program, funds will be matched 2 to 1 up to $1,200. Financial education workshops are also provided in conjunction with the Youth IDA to build the skills necessary for future financial independence.
After two and one half years in the program, families have deposited a total of $24,682.27. Each summer students attended Financial Literacy Camp. The pre- and post-tests from those events demonstrated a 26% increase in personal finance knowledge and understanding. Most recently, the students in the program have decided to create a Financial Fitness Club to encourage additional saving and money management skills.
In addition to providing students with valuable life lessons on economic education and savings, the program will allow for a longitudinal study of the impact of Youth Individual Development Accounts as researchers from the Center for Economic Education follow these students over the five-year period. The following will be measured as part of the impact study:
- Educational Impact – The role the IDA and educational program plays in college attendance.
- Cognitive Impact – Youth will have a working knowledge of personal finance, money management and the economy.
- Attitudinal Impact – Youth will begin to develop healthy attitudes about money.
- Behavioral Impact – Youth will save money, establish lifelong savings habits, be less likely to abuse or misuse credit, be less likely to engage in risky behaviors, and participate productively in their households, neighborhoods, and communities.
In addition to the IDA program, the program includes Teacher Training Workshops and Technical Assistance for Small Business.
Teacher Training Workshops
The workshops are taught by Center for Economic Education Director Dr. Radha Bhattacharya and aim to equip teachers with:
- A conceptual understanding of financial literacy
- Instructional skills to infuse financial literacy in the classroom
- A productive habit of sharing best practices
- The ability to organize events to promote financial literacy in our schools with the U.S. Bank Economic Empowerment Program as a resource for ongoing education and training materials.
Technical Assistance for Small Business
Composed of a Lead Center, based at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton, and three primary service centers, (Orange County SBDC, Inland Empire SBDC and Tritech SBDC), the tri-county Santa Ana SBDC Network is focused on empowering local businesses. The SBDC provides support for the economic growth and development of the Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino County economies by advancing job creation and retention and business expansion.
Access to capital plays a critical role in the health of the American economy, and is especially vital to small business. However, in today’s tight credit markets a small business may need additional training and resources in order to help give it the best possible chance of securing funding.
With support from the U.S. Bank Economic Empowerment Program, the SBDC Lead Center will establish a reciprocal relationship with U.S. Bank’s lending team. Through its satellite offices, the professional staff of the SBDC Santa Ana Regional Network will provide technical assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs as they work toward starting or growing their businesses. After technical assistance is provided by the SBDC, the SBDC will refer the clients back to U.S. Bank to apply for a small business loan.
The U.S. Bank Center for Economic Education at Dominican University
The mission of Dominican University's highly successful Center for Economic Education has been to improve and expand the level of economic education provided to students from kindergarten through high school, in order to enable them to become effective participants in the economy. With a multimillion-dollar contribution, U.S. Bank and Dominican University look to further expand the scope of the Center for Economic Education's mission to address adult financial literacy in the Chicagoland area.
The newly renamed U.S. Bank Center for Economic Education will focus on three main programs. The first is a formalized financial education training workshop for local elementary, middle- and high-school teachers. Led by economics professors at Dominican University, the goal will be to equip teachers with the skills they need to teach financial literacy and economics to their students. The second and third programs involve the creation of innovative youth and adult financial education materials and new methods for delivering financial education, including the development of practical tools for parents in an effort to provide age-appropriate financial literacy to their children.
Junior Achievement (JA) programs help young people prepare for the real world. They learn how to manage finances and how jobs create strong communities, and they experience entrepreneurial thinking through JA’s robust financial education programs, including BizTown and Finance Park. U.S. Bank proudly supports BizTown centers in San Diego and Milwaukee and JA Finance Parks in Los Angeles and Denver.
In addition to program support, U.S. Bank provides grant funding and employees volunteer their time to local Junior Achievement initiatives.
Junior Achievement (JA) empowers young people to own their future economic success in the 21st-century global marketplace. JA programs show young people how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
Last year, U.S. Bank employees dedicated nearly 13,800 hours teaching financial education to 151,000 individuals.
U.S. Bank's partnership with JA also includes significant investments in JA BizTown and Finance Park. The JA BizTown program combines elementary school in-class learning with a day-long visit to a fully interactive simulated town facility. The program helps students connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world. Students spend the day operating banks, managing restaurants and other businesses, writing checks and voting for a mayor. Similarly, JA Finance Park helps middle school students build a solid foundation for making intelligent, lifelong personal financial decisions through hands-on, realistic site-based experiences.
Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing nonprofit organizations that participates in the development, preservation, management and/or financing of affordable, program-enriched housing across the country. The organization serves a variety of populations with housing projects for low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with special needs. Their mission aligns with U.S. Bank's commitment to help people invest in their futures and start their journey towards financial stability.
Mercy Housing is redefining affordable housing by creating a stable foundation where residents can explore their potential, supported by practical resident programs such as health classes, financial education, employment initiatives, parenting and after-school programs for children.