Book Reviews

Review by Erica Richards
College Student Affairs Masters Program
University of South Florida


Berman (2006) noted that an increasing number of college students are graduating with what could be considered an absurd amount of debt. As the overall price of obtaining a college education increases, it is almost inevitable that the number of students getting loans and credit cards will increase. Most college students are not equipped with the financial know-how to manage their “new money” and do not understand how mismanagement of funds can affect them in the long run. Student affairs professionals, because of their relationships with college students, are in a unique position to help these students become more financially competent. Since the primary role of student affairs practitioners is to promote holistic student development, these professionals must become cognizant of how debt and other financial issues affect college students. It is, therefore, imperative that student affairs professionals become knowledgeable about resources that can help students manage their money wisely while in college so that they can take out fewer loans and avoid the risk of bankruptcy after graduation. 

Your financial future: A guide to life after graduation is one resource that student affairs practitioners, including academic advisors, financial aid counselors, student activities personnel, and housing staff, should have on hand. The book is an easy read and a great introductory guide for just about anyone who needs help getting on track financially. This would be a great text for any freshman and senior transition course. One of the distinctive features of the book is that it contains a number of worksheets which can be used as a supplemental guide to the very popular and more candid book by Suze Orman (2007), The money book for the young, fabulous and broke. 

Your financial future: A guide to life after graduation is well-organized, discussing everything from identity theft to investing and debt management to hiring financial planners. The book also contains a table of contents that allows the reader to navigate the book with ease.

This book is important because this may be the first time many college students have made financial decisions on their own. It provides an easy-to-comprehend introductory lesson on financial information.  However, the book does not provide much financial advice. While it is helpful to know what an IRA or stock is, it would have been even more helpful if the book offered tips about how to choose stocks. For example, the book offers some very good questions to ask when shopping for a real estate agent. One of the questions recommended is “What kind of training have you had?” However, the book does not tell us what we should be looking for in the answers.

As someone scheduled to graduate soon I found this book extremely helpful; it has already become one of my most useful references for anything financial. On the other hand, if you are looking for advice this is not the right book. There are many other books on the market that can give current students and graduates financial advice.  

References

Berman, T. (August 23, 2006). Student debt crisis: Are there any solutions? WireTap. Retrieved on April 8, 2008 from http://www.wiretapmag.org/education/40187/

Orman, S. (2007). The money book for the young, fabulous, and broke. New York: Riverhead Trade.


Your financial future: A guide to life after graduation. (2005), Review by Erica Richards. Bainbridge Island, WA: Life After Graduation, LLC, 176pp. Price $15.95. ISBN 097009445-0
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