Hackathon Brings Credit Awareness to HBCU Students and Their Communities

Students with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are bringing credit awareness to their peers and families, thanks to an innovative program from the Center for Financial Advancement® (CFA), HomeFree-USA and Experian.

Teams of students from Alabama State University, Fisk University, Morgan State University and Shaw University participated in a Hackathon, a competition in which students developed credit education programs to increase the credit-savviness of their peers. The Hackathon followed a six-month credit education program from the Center for Financial Advancement® Credit Academy, in which approximately 250 scholars from 14 HBCUs received lessons in credit management, budgeting and generational wealth-building.

The team from Alabama State University, called the “Credit Stingers,” won first prize, a $40,000 scholarship, for their app, called “Credit Rush.” The app has a gaming interface where students can take quizzes to test their credit knowledge to move to higher levels.

Though there could be only one winner, all of the teams and their communities will benefit from the knowledge gleaned through the program.

For example, students who use Morgan State’s program, “Credit U,” will take a quiz to determine the style of learning that works best for them, and the program will teach them in that way. It’s an “interactive program that tailors to everybody’s individual learning style,” said graduate student Cameron Brown in an interview with WBAL News 11.

“Every team exceeded our expectations. We’re inspired by these student leaders and their commitment to driving positive change in their communities. In sharing their personal stories and experiences, they’re helping us create solutions that are culturally and generationally relevant so we can meet them where they are in their financial and credit journeys,” said Raudy Perez, Experian North America’s senior director for global talent acquisition sourcing and external partnerships.

The Hackathon and the Credit Academy are just two ways CFA and HomeFree-USA are working to create paths to homeownership for students by providing financial education, professional development and career growth opportunities.

”We are creating the homeowners and business leaders of tomorrow,” says Gwen Garnett, Program Director for CFA. “And in the process, we’re helping to close the racial wealth gap.”