About the Sanford Center

Todd Mora, program manager, is meeting a student and student worker. Financial literacy and planning are critical skills in modern America. The Sanford Center for Financial Planning and Wellness in the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University promotes financial literacy throughout the greater Kalamazoo Community via workshops, seminars, summer camps and research.

Many Americans struggle to recover from the burden of debt, and college students are often impacted harder than most. A general lack of financial literacy makes it difficult for most college students to make smart financial decisions, including financing higher education. It is essential that these students possess the mindset necessary to seek out, critically analyze, synthesize and apply the right knowledge to effectively manage their finances in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing financial landscape. The center promotes the financial fitness of Southwest Michigan communities and in turn increases retention, recruitment and graduation rates for Western Michigan University.

Leveraging financial skills

The center leverages the skills and talents of students, faculty, staff and community members  to address the growing concern of financial literacy by:

  • Promoting financial wellness and financial planning throughout the greater Kalamazoo community through workshops, seminars, summer camps and research.
  • Fostering and enhancing the financial literacy of area high school students, college students and southwest Michigan communities.
  • Providing financial coaching to students prior to key financial decisions via a network of experienced practitioners and student interns.
  • Conducting and publishing research related to the impact of financial literacy and planning education initiatives.
  • Stimulating collaboration between financial planning practitioners and departmental faculty.