Opt-out, stipended Wealth Management & Socio-Economics Classes: paying impoverished students to build wealth management skills and learn about socio-economic forces behind poverty

Discussions around Financial Justice vs Financial Literacy often make the point that students do not lack savviness in navigating finances, they lack finances. An infusion of no-strings-attached funds ($500 / month?) can lift an individual or family out of predatory cycles and provide some breathing room to move from basic survival to strategy. Education can be a major contributor to wealth reduction, long-term debt, and decreased earnings. Goldrick-Rab pointed out that Financial Aid does not take into account the hit families take when a student stops working to go to school. What if we could minimize the financial risk low-income families take by seeking out education?

Preliminary Universal Basic Income pilots, Stockton's SEED project, and Darrick Hamilton's Baby Bonds research all point to providing wealth as a pre-requisite to better wealth management.

I am an administrator, not faculty. Therefore my interests intersect with the reality of such an idea at a community college: which students do we target? How long must the project run to have sustained benefits to the student? While one avenue for sustainability could be connecting students to high paying careers, there is a clear racial bias to funneling BIPOC folk into technical education and reserving transfer / academia / graduation work for white and middle-class folk who can afford being out of work. Finally, does the research back this up or is this just a pipe dream?

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