The Problem

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) wanted to partner with an experienced and unbiased educator to develop a holistic workshop series that would help Masters’ and PhD students manage their personal finances.  Additionally, GSAS wanted to provide foundational knowledge to help address unique tax nuances of graduate students, including how to account for stipends and fellowships; however, the university was constrained in its ability to offer individual tax advice to its students.

The Solution

Shahar partnered with the GSAS to create a customized financial wellness program that addressed the unique  circumstances of Master’s and Ph.D. students. 

Workshops included:

  • Implementing A Winning Financial Plan
  • Investing For The Future:  How To Grow Your Wealth
  • Preparing Your Tax During And After Graduate School
  • Workplace Benefits:  Setting Yourself Up For Day 1 Success

The dynamic sessions included video clips and case studies to help graduate students develop healthy financial habits:

  • Techniques to manage lump sum stipends/payments
  • Frameworks for how to manage student debt
  • Strategies to develop and maintain good credit
  • Guidance on how to file tax returns as a graduate student
  • Advice on how to invest successfully for the future
Columbia GSAS edited 1.jpg

The Results

Shahar's workshops have been extremely well-received both by students and the Columbia administration. He was asked to return for an expanded program in the 2016-2017 academic year.

recommend to a friend score




from  Students




from masters' students

2016-17 Workshops

"Great workshop that answered a lot of my questions and directed me towards really good information. Eager to attend future sessions."

"I had an initial concern that I'd find it boring after 2 hours because I'm not a finance person (or difficult to understand because I have zero background in this), but I was SO wrong.  Thank you for making it enjoyable and easy to understand for a noob like me!"

2015-16 Workshops

"Fantastic! A much needed addition to help grad students navigate financial situation."

"This is excellent and I would highly recommend it.  I am normally very scared of financial planning and this made it accessible."

from ph.d. students

2016-17 Workshops

"This was super helpful! I knew very little of this and it was great to learn"

"Was both a nice description of the basics and contained helpful info for me even as someone who already budgets, saves for retirement, and is thinking long-term"

"Loved it.  Good pace, approachable, and realistic.  Feels doable"    


2015-16 Workshops

"Fantastic workshop and Shahar was very flexible about accommodating to our needs and interests"

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