Auburn University and Regions Bank join forces to provide financial wellness programming

Academic partnership kicks off with virtual campus seminars featuring ‘Financial Literacy Coach’ Eric Smith

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Auburn University is investing in students’ financial futures through an innovative new academic partnership with Regions Bank aimed at developing smart fiscal habits.

Beginning this month, Auburn will be the first university to partner with the Birmingham-based bank in implementing a customized education program that will offer financial wellness tools to all students, as well as faculty, staff and alumni. Supporting Auburn’s academic mission, the partnership provides resources to help alleviate financial concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will proactively aid students in making wise financial decisions essential for success.

“Auburn strives to prepare our students for success academically and personally, and financial literacy is key to that success. By working with Regions, we are arming students with the knowledge they need to make smart, informed choices that form crucial habits before they graduate,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Bill Hardgrave. “We are grateful to Regions for sharing their expertise and taking a vested interest in our students’ futures.”

With the partnership, Regions will offer Next Step, an interactive program that features comprehensive approaches to financial wellness education, including on-demand mobile-friendly learning courses, podcasts, interactive scenario planning guided by Regions professionals and in-person and virtual seminars from renowned financial authorities. Topics covered by the platform include budgeting, building savings, making informed and beneficial financial decisions and planning for a fiscally secure future, among others.

“We are proud to bring the Regions Next Step financial literacy program to Auburn University’s student body,” said Regions Bank Vice President for Corporate Marketing Mark Senter. “Our objective is to provide students with the guidance they need to reach their short- and long-term financial goals.”

Through interactive content available through Regions’ Financial Learning Center, students can complete curated courses and activities specific to their financial needs and goals. Students also will have access to Next Step Reality Check, where students are assigned a persona and allowed to walk through real-world financial scenarios. With the goal of completing the exercise with a budget surplus, the exercise shows how students’ money choices can have significant short- and long-term impacts.

To reinforce the knowledge and skills gained through the interactive online platforms, Regions will also sponsor in-person seminars from renowned financial experts. For its first set of seminars, scheduled for Oct. 21, Auburn will host acclaimed financial literacy coach Eric Smith, who has taught money management skills to more than 125,000 college students, thousands of professional athletes and corporate employee groups. Smith will host a Zoom session for Auburn employees from 12-1 p.m., and a session for students from 6-7 p.m. to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on personal finances and other important topics. The evening will finish off with a custom program for student athletes. Employees and students can register and submit questions to Smith in advance at

Auburn students have often cited the need for a program that teaches important life skills, and the new offerings made possible through the partnership with Regions represent a strategic goal of Auburn’s Student Government Association and encompasses months of work by a group of committed student leaders.

“I am so proud of this university for their continued work to support each student in every facet of life,” said 2020-21 SGA Treasurer Caroline Willoughby. “This initiative is the perfect demonstration of how much Auburn cares for the individual student. I look forward to the positive impact this has on students for years to come!”

To learn more about Auburn’s partnership with Regions, visit or contact Michael McCay, director of Auburn University Career Services, for information about campus programming.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.