Money skills for life

Stanford students have a new resource to guide them with financial decisions: private, personalized and free one-on-one financial coaching by Stanford alumni in financial services. Here’s what two Stanford students have to say.

Stanford students interested in making more informed financial decisions are getting free tips with a new 1:1 Financial Coaching resource. From saving to investing to paying for graduate school, the program is a valuable resource for any undergraduate, graduate student and postdoc, regardless of how much or how little money they have.

Offered through Stanford’s top-ranked financial literacy program Mind Over Money, 1:1 Financial Coaching is unique among financial coaching programs on U.S. college campuses in that its coaches are predominately alumni, according to Kelly Takahashi, director of financial wellness and associate bursar with Student Financial Services.

The program is growing and now boasts 50 alumni coaches who volunteer their time and expertise to help current Stanford students and postdocs understand their finances. The coaches have diverse personal and professional backgrounds with unique perspectives, such as being a student-athlete or an international student, paying for graduate school or having children.

“The quality and diversity of our coaching pool is extraordinary, and the fact that 50 alumni are volunteering their time and expertise in this way is a statement in itself of their love for Stanford and their validation of the need for financial literacy for Stanford students,” said Takahashi.

1:1 Financial Coaching is an educational and informational service only, meant to help students and postdocs improve their financial literacy. Advisers do not provide investment, tax or other advice. In addition to financial coaching, Mind Over Money offers the online tool Haven Money as an introduction to various personal finance topics, as well as personal finance events and workshops throughout the academic year. More information, including a list of coaches, is available at

After taking Mind Over Money’s winter course, Financial Wellness 183, Stanford students Jorge Avelar-Lopez, ’20, and Rachel Hinds, ’20, signed up for 1:1: Financial Coaching. They were recently coached by alums Olivia Reyes-Becerra, BS ’17, MS ’18, and John Davis, MS ’01, PhD ’06, respectively. Here’s what the students had to say about the program.

Rachel Hinds

Class of ’20, majoring in medical anthropology

As someone who values getting advice from people I trust, this provided a wonderful opportunity to get advice from an expert who really wanted to help me thrive financially.”

Read Hinds’ interview

Jorge Avelar-Lopez

Class of ’20, majoring in computer science

Now that I am in college, I want to ensure I set myself up to have a financially stable future.”

Read Avelar-Lopez’s interview