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McNair Scholar 2016Ricky Vang

Ricky Vang is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is majoring in family social science with plans to continue his education. His research interests focus on student experiences and successes in regards to first-year, first-generation college students, primarily focusing on commuter students. Ricky plans on obtaining his Ph.D. in higher education.

Ricky Vang photo
My dream is to serve as a future leader in higher education and provide guidance for students coming from a first-generation college background. I wish to provide support that was not so available for myself.

Research project

The relationship between educational attainment and financial management

Abstract: Attaining higher levels of educational attainment is recommended in order to live a sustainable life style. Although it is true that education does indeed increase income, does it improve financial management styles? As families make more money, they tend to spend more, no different than lower income families who are living paycheck to paycheck. This study examined 22 detailed family case studies created from community-based staff who work with families on financial management. Qualitative data analysis revealed that although income increased with education, families did not necessarily manage their money better than their lower education-level counterparts. In fact, as income increased, so did spending, leaving room for little or no saving. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Catherine Solheim, McNair faculty mentor, is an associate professor in the Family Social Science Department at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research focuses on understanding the economic stresses and transitions of resettling refugee families. She is specifically interested in Southeast Asia after living and working in Thailand. Dr. Solheim received awards for her work in multi-cultural excellence and promoting community engagement. She has served as a McNair Faculty Mentor for several years and appreciates how the program develops the next generation of scholars.

Veronica Deenanath, McNair research mentor, is a doctoral student in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Her research focus is on first-generation college students, particularly on their financial capability. She examines the influences of the family in developing financial capability and how families support the success of first-generation college students.