Robinhood Launches Financial Literacy Program for Student Athletes

Robinhood and Cryptocurrencies photo illustrations, Krakow, Poland - 29 Jun 2021
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Robinhood announced what it deems the first-of-its-kind financial education program for student athletes at West Virginia University (WVU), in an effort to tackle post-college athlete bankruptcy and financial hardship.

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With this partnership, WVU will be the first Division I school to make financial education coursework available for every student athlete starting with the 2022-23 school year, a Robinhood spokesperson told GOBankingRates.

Dan Gallagher, Robinhood’s chief legal, compliance and corporate affairs officer, told GOBankingRates, “Robinhood believes that financial education should be easily accessible, for everyone. Professional athletes fresh out of high school and college are becoming overnight millionaires, but too many lack the financial literacy resources to manage this change in financial status. We’re thrilled to launch this partnership with WVU, and we are eager to help WVU student athletes learn about financial matters.”

Robinhood said it believes it is critical that players learn about the basics of financial literacy, as many professional athletes declare bankruptcy in just a few years, with nearly 16% of NFL players filing for bankruptcy within 12 years of retirement; 60% of NBA players “go broke within five years of departing the league”; and 78% of former NFL players experience financial distress two years after retirement, a spokesperson said.

This is the first semester course entirely dedicated to financial education for student athletes, which will be required for all WVU athletes on scholarship and optional for those who are not. In addition, components of this course are being integrated into the WVU freshman seminar so all students on campus will receive financial education in 2022-23.

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This will be a 4-year partnership, along with the Center for Financial Literacy and Education in the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics.

Asked whether the company plans on rolling more programs, Chloe Barz, Robinhood’s director of external affairs & community, told GOBankingRates that “we are still in the early stages of conversations to expand this. We are exploring the resources that it requires to do so and plan to bring this program to other college campuses this year.”

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West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin issued a statement sent to GOBankingrates in support of the partnership. “The launch of this inaugural education program marks a milestone in the advancement of student athletics with influential guest lectures that will instill lessons to last a lifetime. I thank Robinhood and WVU for providing this unique opportunity for athletes to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to have successful post-college careers – and I hope to see this exciting program expand to more West Virginia colleges and universities in the future,” Manchin said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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