Purdue Federal brings a creative approach to financial education with student-designed high school debit cards

Purdue Federal brings a creative approach to financial education with student-designed high school debit cards

You’re never too young to practice good financial habits to help set yourself up for success later on in life. Purdue Federal Credit Union (Purdue Federal) understands just how important it is to be involved with finances from an early age, and because of this, the financial institution offers local high school students a specialized debit card program. The program allows students to be quite engaged as they learn the ins and outs of personal finance, all while showing some school spirit.

“Financial empowerment at a young age is crucial,” said Purdue Federal Community Relations Specialist Molly Milcarek. “When we teach the basics of financial habits, we are helping students understand the importance of needs versus wants. Making healthy financial choices at a young age will also encourage saving with a purpose and smart investing for the future.”

The program originated several years ago in the Lafayette area as a way to help kids become more involved with their accounts. It quickly gained momentum, and has since spread to include many other schools throughout Northern Indiana.

Now, in Northwest Indiana specifically, personalized debit cards are currently available for students attending Andrean High School, Hanover Central High School, and La Porte High School. Purdue Federal is well on its way to developing the program for many more Region schools as well, so be sure to be on the lookout for those soon.

“Purdue Federal also offers nine additional high school card designs in the Greater Lafayette area. As we continue to grow and become involved with more schools, we will add new designs,” Milcarek said.

The program, in addition to teaching kids financial responsibility, also allows them to showcase their creative sides. Each high school involved with the program offers students the opportunity to design their school’s card  through a contest initiated by Purdue Federal’s marketing team.

Creating the designs is one of the favorite parts for many of the students, and even Milcarek herself. She loves seeing the students bring their artistic game to the table and notes it’s a fun way to engage the students even further in ways that may not first come to mind when thinking of money management.

“I love working with art or design teachers when offering the contest,” she said. “This really gets the students involved and pushes their creative boundaries. It is up to the school if they can incorporate the contest into their class plans or if it will be offered as an extracurricular activity for the students to submit in their own time. We try to circulate at least one new card every year, in the order they were designed, to keep the images fresh and current with both the school and Purdue Federal’s brand.”

Students who participate in the contest are also able to compete for more than having their creation featured on the card—a very special prize awaits the student who submits the winning design.

“The debit card contest benefits the student with the school’s winning design—they receive a $500 cash or gift card prize,” Milcarek said. “We have previously offered contests where the member and the school with the coordinating debit card earn cash for getting a new high school debit card design or switching from a traditional design to a high school debit design.”

Students who attend the schools in Purdue Federal’s Select Employee Groups (SEG) are eligible to submit card designs for the contest. Additionally, the card designs are available for almost everyone to show school spirit.

“Our high school debit card designs are available to all qualifying members, not restricted to students. The exception will be for business checking accounts,” Milcarek said. “Offering a high school design on a debit card provides an alternative to the standard designs we offer to all members. Plus, it’s a great way to show school pride. Having a specialized high school debit card is not only fun for students, but families and employees in the schools share the same excitement. Devoted fans love presenting a unique debit card image that symbolizes something relatable, as well as something they are passionate about.”

To obtain a student-designed high school debit card, please visit purduefed.com or visit its locations at 11330 Broadway in Crown Point or 3404 Monroe Street in La Porte for details on becoming a member. More information on the debit card program specifically can also be found at the link here.

“If you have interest in getting a debit card for your favorite high school, please reach out to Purdue Federal about becoming a Select Employee Group or SEG,” Milcarek said. “We are always eager to build relationships with schools for financial empowerment opportunities that serve students, faculty, and staff as well as high school debit card designs.”

Becoming a SEG is easy and free. Becoming a SEG means making credit union membership possible for your employees, students and other individuals and becoming a member means access to competitive products, excellent service and free financial empowerment. Visit purduefed.com/seg for more information.