One of the first steps to successfully managing money and potential debt as a college student is understanding expenses associated with school and living. Managing debt in college can be the difference between chasing the career of your dreams or settling in order pay for the opportunity. With that in mind, a new center at UNM has been established in recognition of the need to help students get smart with their cash. 

The UNM Dean of Students Office, in conjunction with Nusenda Credit Union, has chosen Kaylie Huizenga to head the installment of a new campus resource center called The Center for Financial Capability (CFC). 

Huizenga is a senior from Artesia, N.M. and has held various leadership roles on campus. During her campus experience as a two-time New Student Orientation leader, assistant to the dean of students, and executive director of ASUNM Lobo Spirit, Huizenga discovered an unmet need—students needing guidance with personal financial planning. 

“There are so many resource centers on campus that do amazing things, but none of them meet the expressed need to help students better manage their money,” said Huizenga.

The Center’s main goal is to ensure students walk away with as little to no debt as possible, and have access to education surrounding financial literacy. It will employ highly trained students who will help their peers.

“Because students are on the same financial spectrum, they are better able to relate to a peer than a professional staff member who may not be experiencing the same challenges,” added Huizenga.

Peer mentors will be trained to assist students in areas like budgeting, saving, building credit, student loans, scholarships, and important campus dates for tuition payments and financial aid disbursements.

The center, located in the Dean of Students Office, offers a safe place for students to receive this peer-based coaching with their personal and collegiate finances. 

The CFC is a partner in education with Nusenda Credit Union. Nusenda has supported the center to grow this Financial Capability initiative to ensure students are receiving valuable information during their collegiate experiences.

“Nusenda’s roots are in education and we’ve been partners in financial success with UNM and its student body for 40 years—almost half of the credit union’s years in existence,” said Nusenda President/CEO Terry Laudick. “We’re dedicated to laying a strong foundation of financial education for our state’s young people because it’s the key to increased opportunities and economic health that last a lifetime.” 

Students interested in participating as a coach, or to receive coaching, can call 505-277-3361 or email Follow the CFC on Twitter @UNMCFC and Instagram at unm_cfc.