Common Cents

Pre-professionalAdvisingAcademicCommunity ServicePeer EducationUndergraduateWharton Council


Common Cents is a national personal finance nonprofit seeking to mend the financial literacy knowledge gap seen across the U.S. Founded in 2019, we're headquartered at Penn with branches at NYU, Yale, and Hopkins.

Become a member today (no application): 

Our Values:

Mission Statement: Common Cents seeks to mend the financial literacy gap seen across the U.S.

According to the Federal Reserve, in a basic financial literacy test comprising of three questions, only 33% of adults could answer all three questions. College students scored similarly.

This doesn't have to be that way.

Pillars: We strive to make personal finance...

  1. Innovative: We find innovative ways to make learning about personal finance appealing for a wide audience, ranging from high schoolers to undergrads.
  2. Interesting: We believe learning about personal finance should be fun, interactive, and engaging.
  3. Inclusive: We seek to break the stigma and fear of personal finance. Regardless of age, major, career, or income level, personal finance is important for everyone.


Applications have closed :(( but you can still join a community and make friends!! Email us: :)

  • Content: Research personal finance topics and create docs and presentations for events
  • Marketing: manage social media, run analytics for marketing strategy, and lead event promotion
  • Design: design graphics, lead magnets, advertising, and emails
  • Finance: track expenses, manage club budget, find partnerships, and hunt funding opportunities
  • Social: facilitate external and cross-school Common Cents Community groups and manage internal team-bonding activities

(Some) Past events:

Investing 101: Two investment managers from Goldman Sachs talked about the basics of investing


MasterChef - Meal Prep Edition: Common Cents and Penn Appétit partnered to teach about meal prepping on a budget with a live cooking demo



Question: Do you have branches at other colleges? - Anonymous
Yes! We currently have branches at NYU, Yale, and JHU.
- Angelina Zhou
Question: Why Common Cents? - Anonymous
Common Cents is Penn's first and only undergraduate personal finance club. We strive to teach our undergraduate peers as well as high schoolers personal finance topics in an engaging, informative way. Also new this year is our Common Cents Communities, where members can opt in to weekly socials with small group of other like minded peers!
- Hannah Xiao
Question: Do you teach PF to both high school and college students, or just one of those? - Anonymous
We teach personal finance to both undergraduates and high school students! We hope to mend the financial literacy gap by making these topics inclusive for anyone curious about learning more. Personal finance is applicable to all people no matter age, major, or career choice.
- John Ta
Question: What is the recruitment process like step-by-step? - Anonymous
The recruitment process for committees begins with an online application form. Before interviews, we may hold coffee chats to get to know applicants better. Those with a strong application will be invited to a technical interview relevant to the committee they applied for, followed by a behavioral interview to determine if they are a good fit for the team.
- John Ta
Question: How has your model changed since COVID-19? - Anonymous
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all our events will be held virtually. However, the virtual environment allows us to hold intercollegiate events with our branches at NYU, Yale, and Hopkins.
- John Ta
Question: How do you teach students personal finance? With classes or online webinars? - Anonymous
Common Cents aims to make personal finance interesting with activities like Kahoots, choose-your-own-adventure, jeopardy, and more (most of the time with a prize for winners!). We also forge innovation through interdisciplinary events like Masterchef when we had a live cooking demo and talked about meal prepping under a budget. Generally, we host a wide variety of events, including speaker events, informational classes, career panels, and online webinars. Because of the current virtual environment, all events for the fall 2020 semester will be virtual; however, we look forward to hosting more in-person events when we are back on campus.
- John Ta
Question: How often does the club meet for general body members? - Anonymous
We usually hold 1-2 events per month (excluding finals season). Make sure to follow our Facebook Page and join our listserv to be notified of upcoming events!
- Vivek Olumbe
Question: What is the time commitment for committee members? - Anonymous
Committee members are expected to dedicate around 1-4 hours/week to the club. At a minimum, there is a club-wide meeting once a week that lasts between 30 minutes-1 hour. Additionally, most committees will also have weekly meetings that can range from 30 minutes-1 hour. Between meetings, committee members complete any assigned tasks and build out new initiatives.
- Angelina Zhou
Question: Do you have to know about personal finance to join? - Anonymous
No! We encourage anyone and everyone to join as a general body member because personal finance knowledge is applicable to everyone, regardless of your background. We encourage all committee applicants to have some background in personal finance, but what we're looking for most is interest and passion. Committee members will definitely learn more as they become more involved in the club, so what's most important is that they will put in effort into their work at Common Cents, so they can learn and drive our mission. Even if you have very limited knowledge of personal finance, we encourage you to apply if you are willing to put in the time to learn more!
- John Ta
Question: What is the difference between the different types of members? - Anonymous
Common Cents has three types of members: 1) Executive board members: lead all the committees and help facilitate the growth of the organization. Exec members are promoted internally from committees. 2) Committee members: responsible for various roles in running the Penn organization. They support the exec and complete initiatives within their teams. Committee members are encouraged to come up with their own new initiatives as well. 3) General body members: students who are interested in personal finance and may be interested in coming to events and bonding with the Common Cents community to learn more and meet new people. Executive board and committee positions require applications and interviews. However, we encourage anyone interested to join our general body to learn more about personal finance at our events. General body members can always apply to committee positions at a later time if they wish to get more involved.
- John Ta
Question: What kind of events do you hold, and how does each committee help with them? - Anonymous
Every committee comes together to help design and execute events. For our latest series at the Wave Learning Festival, the content committee led the presentations, marketing and design worked together to create and distribute promotional material, and every committee member was invited to help moderate and speak at the classes. It truly was a group effort!
- Hannah Xiao


John Ta
President & Founder
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Angelina Zhou
Senior Vice President
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Enzo Bergamo
Operations Chair
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Hannah Xiao
Content Committee
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Basic Info

12 Registered (> 100 Members)

Currently Accepting Members

Application Required

Unknown Recruitment Cycle


How to Get Involved

Join our listserv or fill out our interest form (! We are an open club for anyone interested in joining as a member. To join our committees, we require an application.

Additional Pages