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Why should I participate in GSAC?

Credit education isn’t just about paying for college, credit cards and loans, but encompasses budgeting, understanding a credit report and identity protection. It’s also critical to the post-secondary success of young people, many of whom are starting their adult lives with significant student loan debt. Participation in GSAC is an opportunity to position yourself and your bank as a trusted partner in helping young people — and by extension communities — thrive.

Additionally, once registered as a participant, your bank will appear on the list of participating banks. ABA Foundation will promote this list to media, state bank associations, policymakers, and community organizations. Participation is an opportunity to highlight your commitment to your community and get recognition for all your outreach efforts.

How do I get started?

Registration to participate in GSAC opens each January, is available at no cost and ABA membership is not required. Once you've registered your bank’s participation through the ABA Shopping Cart, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. This email will contain a link to a private resource page where you can access presentation planning tools, lesson plans, social media guide and communication materials to publicize your bank's efforts. ABA members can review the Start a Financial Education Program Toolbox for an in-depth look into beginning a program.

What qualifies as GSAC participation?

Any presentation taught by a financial services professional that covers some aspect of banking careers, budgeting, credit, identity theft, paying for college or other personal finance topics qualifies for GSAC participation. The ABA Foundation is not prescriptive regarding lessons or specific material and does not require use of our curriculum to be a program participant. We do however focus on topics we think relevant and timely and always welcome new topic ideas.

What if I don’t feel qualified to give a presentation?

GSAC materials were designed and developed exclusively for bankers to make personal finance presentations both engaging and fun. The ABA Foundation materials are great for instructors with little to no experience teaching money concepts. Each lesson promotes audience participation through discussion and hands on activities, with an easy to follow, step-by-step, lesson plan.

When can I participate in GSAC?

GSAC celebrates an annual awareness day on the third Thursday of October to focus media attention around the importance of personal finance. Bankers are encouraged to schedule presentations on the designated GSAC Day or throughout the month of October. Understanding that bankers’ and schools’ schedules may prevent participation during that time, a presentation given at any time during the calendar year counts as program participation.

How can I connect with my community to schedule a presentation?

The ABA Foundation believes your bank is in the best position to make local education connections. In addition to classroom lessons, there are a host of groups in every community that serve children and families that can be approached such as school-based after-care programs or social service groups like; United Way, scout troops, Boys and Girls clubs, and youth groups.

When registering you are encouraged to opt-in to accept presentation requests through FinEdLink. This component of the program will connect you with parties in your community interested in having a banker give a financial education presentation.

Where can I learn more?

ABA Foundation hosts training webinars at the beginning of the Get Smart About Credit program year. Webinars are free, however registration is required. Look for upcoming webinars to be announced each summer in time for the start of the school year. Prior ABA Foundation hosted training webinars can be found on-demand through the Financial Education Webinar Portal.