Category Archives: Education Releases Financial Literacy Toolkit for Students and Recent Grads

Free Toolkit Offers Expert Personal Finance Resources From Citi, Teaches Practical Financial Lessons Not Available in Most Colleges

NEW YORK, NY— Sep 4, 2013 – Manilla, the leading, free and secure digital mailbox service that allows consumers to manage their bills and other personal accounts on desktop, tablet and mobile devices, today announced that it has released a financial literacy toolkit, designed to help students and recent grads make the financial transition into the “real world” as they begin to manage their own finances, bills and other household accounts.

“Manilla is a great financial, mail and organization tool used by consumers of all ages and economic levels,” said Marc Karasu, vice president of marketing at Manilla. “However, we felt a particular responsibility to create this toolkit for our younger customers, as they enter a time in their lives when adopting smart financial habits is essential to their future success.”
The free toolkit, called “Manilla’s Financial Literacy Toolkit: The life lessons you didn’t learn in school,” offers practical expert financial resources from Manilla and partner Citi and helps solve the problem many students face of not having access to basic money management principles in their own colleges and universities.

“Today’s students are balancing the responsibilities of work, studies and their finances to achieve success,” said Linda Descano, CFA®, managing director and head of content and social, North America Marketing, Citi, and president and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co. “We’re excited to partner with Manilla on this effort to help students understand how to manage their money and provide them with lessons to help them progress toward their financial and professional goals.”

The toolkit is available for download and on Manilla’s online news site, The Manilla Folder. It covers four essential financial lessons: (1) Finances in College, including how to take out loans and pay off student debt, splitting the cost of college with parents and money-saving tips; (2) Surviving College 101, outlining what to pack as you head to school; (3) Finances in the “Real World,” covering saving and spending, budgeting and credit cards; and (4) Surviving the “Real World” 101, which offers advice on networking and getting a job post-graduation.

“Many students and recent college graduates struggle with figuring out how to manage their finances and lives as they transition from the college environment to getting a job,” said Maitland Greer, senior marketing manager of Manilla and head of the company’s financial literacy initiative. “Unfortunately, many colleges and universities offer few resources on basic budgeting and financial management, which are essential lessons for people who are just starting to manage their own bills. We’re eager to provide this resource for students, who we hope will use it for this next exciting phase of their lives.”

In addition to providing students with the free toolkit, Manilla is also giving them the chance to win cash in the back-to-school version of the Manilla Get It Together Challenge. By getting organized with Manilla, students and recent grads are automatically entered to win a grand prize of $2,500. Anyone can take the Challenge on Manilla’s Facebook page or at

The toolkit launch comes after the recent news that Manilla reached 500,000 activated users and expects to hit 1 million by the end of the year. Manilla also recently announced its custom integration with AOL Mail and, allowing Manilla to reach more than 25 million AOL users every day.

Manilla’s platform provides convenient, secure online access to all household accounts and services for more than 3,500 businesses. The free service helps consumers manage all of their household accounts, including financial accounts, utilities, subscriptions, daily deals and travel rewards programs, all through or via the highly rated Manilla Android or iOS mobile apps.

In addition to helping consumers manage their lives, Manilla also helps businesses more deeply engage with their customers, as shown by recent Manilla data. The data revealed that Manilla not only lowers paper mail costs for companies that have joined the Manilla service, but it also increases traffic, drives engagement and increases mobile downloads. Manilla also provides upsell and cross-sell opportunities for partners in an environment that is completely protected from competitors.

About Manilla
Manilla organizes and simplifies people’s lives by providing one secure access point to all household accounts and services. The free digital mailbox service helps consumers manage their mail and household accounts, including financial accounts, utilities, subscriptions, daily deals, and travel rewards programs, all through Consumers can also use all of the Manilla features on the go by using Manilla’s 4+ star customer-rated Android and iOS mobile apps. Under a single password, Manilla gives customers an automated, organized view of all of their account information, text and email reminders to pay bills, renew expiring subscriptions, and manage soon-to-expire daily deals, all with unlimited storage and seamless document retrieval.

Manilla is a company incubated within and backed by Hearst Corporation. Manilla is the recipient of the Webby Award and People’s Voice Award for Best Banking/Bill Pay Service and was chosen as ABC News “App of the Week,” as one of Money Magazine’s “Top Money Apps” and as one of’s Top 100 Websites. For more information, please visit

Media Contact
Rachel Shaffer
(646) 428-0626

CISabroad Offers Multi-Country Summer Study Abroad Programs in Europe

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For students looking for a bit more travel with their European study abroad program, CISabroad provides a unique way to visit several countries throughout the course of a summer. The study abroad organization’s set of multi-country summer study abroad programs, the Discover Europe! Summer Series, allows students to spend time in as little as two or as many as four countries in a six to 10 week period. Students will be able to immerse themselves in the cultures of countries such as France, Spain, Italy, England, Ireland and Scotland, while studying subjects like art, film, history, literature, and language. Highlights of some of the programs include touring through scenic countrysides, experiencing the nightlife of thriving cities like London, Barcelona and Paris; studying the works of some of the most influential artists in history, and getting the rare opportunity to spend an extended period of time in several very different European hotspots.

“The European Experience [Ireland, Scotland, England, and Spain] is absolutely the best way to experience multiple countries during the summer,” said Stacey C., a previous Discover Europe! participant in the European Experience program. “You meet new people when you arrive and you can stay friends and most of them throughout the whole experience along with meeting new people along the way. There’re so many excursions that you get to go on and a lot of free time to explore at your own leisure. It is truly amazing to explore all the cultures of these countries, learning and taking your classroom outside by having hands-on learning. It is a great opportunity to have. There are so many historic monuments, museums and famous sights to see and you can pretty much visit it all.”

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The Discover Europe! Summer Series offers eight unique programs, each of which revolves around a certain theme that aligns with the locations visited:

Summer in the British Isles: Ireland, Scotland, and England
- Travel through the Irish and Scottish countryside and study in the heart of London.
- 9 credits in 6 weeks

European Experience: Ireland, Scotland, England, and Spain
-After your adventure in the British Isles (this is an extension to the program above), spend a month in Spain learning Spanish and losing yourself in the vibrancy of Barcelona!
-15 credits in 10 weeks

The Grand Tour: Rome, Florence, Paris and London
-Learn and live art as you follow in the footsteps of the Masters, on this modern day version of the original study abroad program for the elite of European society.
-15 credits in 9 weeks

Film and Art Spectacular: London and Paris
-Explore and experiment with art, cinema, and film in two world-class capitals.
-12 credits in 8 weeks

Gaudi to Monet: Barcelona and Paris
-Focus on the languages and cultures that gave rise to some of the most influential artists the world has ever known.
-12 credits in 8 weeks

Heart of the Renaissance: Rome, Florence and Paris
-Live in these Renaissance cities and learn about their art and history through the eyes of the Masters.
-9 credits in 8 weeks

Mediterranean Culture: Rome and Barcelona
-Learn how the past influences modern life in these important cultural centers and their surrounding towns.
-12 or 15 credits in 8 weeks

City Expeditions: London and Barcelona
-Get immersed in these world-class cities through coursework and excursions that bring the classroom to the city.
-12 or 15 credits in 8 weeks

In order to showcase each of these unique and engaging multi-country summer study abroad programs, CISabroad has created a Discover Europe! Summer Email Series. These emails include detailed information about each of the eight programs, student blogs from CISabroad participants who are currently enjoying their time abroad, program videos that include interviews with current students and faculty; and application deadline reminders.

In keeping with their commitment to make studying abroad as affordable as possible, CISabroad is also running a Discover Europe for Yourself Sweepstakes, offering a $500 discount to one of the Discover Europe Summer Email Series subscribers. For details and a chance to save $500, please visit the Discover Europe for Yourself Sweepstakes page.

About CISabroad:

CISabroad is a study abroad organization committed to providing affordability, support, cultural immersion and academic relevance to its study abroad and intern abroad participants. CISabroad offers summer, semester, May Term, January Term study and intern abroad programs in 19 different countries around the world. You’re going places with CISabroad! For more information, please visit


The anxiety recent graduates experience when confronting their loans reappears in “The Red” with advice and tools on how to manage it.


BOSTON – Now that graduation has arrived, students around the country are about to be hit with their student loans for the very first time. A campaign by American Student Assistance™ (ASA) just launched to help students and recent graduates manage these loans. Through a short, psychological thriller film, The Red spins a story about the anxieties of being in debt and the relief that comes from facing them. The Red is part of a multi-media campaign created by ad agency SS+K to compel and empower young people to take control of their debt on a practical, day-to-day level.

The Red also introduces SALT™, a free, nonprofit resource created by ASA™ to help students and graduates better manage their loans and enter the real world on more solid financial footing. When signing up for SALT, they can enter for a chance to win $10,000 to pay for college or pay back their loans at

Nearing a trillion dollars, student debt affects nearly 15 million Americans under the age of 30. Few students and recent graduates even know what they owe – and they aren’t actively seeking advice on what to do about it.

“It isn’t easy to get young people who feel panicked about their debts to do something about it,” said Sue Burton from ASA. “To connect meaningfully with them, we produced something very entertaining that acknowledges how frightening it can be, yet portrays their own power and offers a path out of the nightmare.”

In “The Red”, which premiered in theaters across the country and launched nationally online at, a 20-something girl is terrorized by ominous red smoke. The smoke follows her at every turn, mirroring the suffocating financial strain of a post-college world. No matter how hard she tries, she realizes that there’s no avoiding The Red. The only option is to face it.

“The Red” was directed by the Borderline Films trio of Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mond — the critically acclaimed filmmakers behind the thrillers “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Simon Killer.” The filmmakers know firsthand the horror of mounting student debts and the paralyzing fear that it can create. “We know exactly how scary it is to owe a ton of money for school and have no clue how to pay it back,” said Mr. Campos. “This is a story we related to. The feeling of ‘The Red’ made sense. And we embraced the opportunity to work on this project.”

“The Red” premiered in Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. – focusing on cities with a large student population and high percentage of young people with student debt. Beyond the film, a main focus of the campaign is to bring information and resources to students and recent grads through platforms and mediums that they already consume and trust. The campaign includes multiple content partnerships with millennial-focused media outlets like The Onion, BuzzFeed, College Humor and MTV.

About SALT & ASA: SALT is a free educational resource that provides simple, smart, personalized ways for college students and recent graduates to take control of their student debt and manage their finances. With a combination of helpful tools, tailored information, and unbiased expertise, SALT helps young people borrow less, borrow smart and repay their loans in a way that works for them. SALT was created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit organization with 50+ years experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans.

About SS+K: SS+K is the marketing/advertising agency that produced the most-discussed video of the 2012 presidential campaign, “Your First Time,” featuring Lena Dunham, and the award-winning “The Most Honest City” initiative for Honest Tea. SS+K helped GM introduce the Volt, and with Pfizer created the “Get Old” campaign. Current clients include VW, the College Board, Wells Fargo, Travelers, Kraft Foods and, the organization launched by Mark Zuckerberg and other technology leaders to promote immigration and education reform. In 2004, working with Nike, SS+K introduced the iconic yellow Livestrong wristband. Founded in 1993, SS+K is partially owned by the Hollywood agency CAA.