Hoping to encourage more members of its community to attend college and become its customers someday Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles has opened a college resource center.
The $165 million-asset bank is partnering with Occidental College in Los Angeles to operate the center in the lobby of its Exposition Park branch in the heart of south central Los Angeles. It has brochures from a host of schools and will hold free monthly seminars on how to apply and pay for college. It also features computers that people can use to visit college-planning Web sites.
Eric V. Johnson, Broadway Federals senior vice president, said, This is a community that traditionally has had low college enrollment, and we thought one of the ways we could give back to the community was to help get kids to college.
William D. Tingley, Occidentals dean of admission and financial aid, said a bank is a good place for this sort of service.
Banks play a key role in helping families work out ways to finance their kids education, he said. Whether its families that need financial assistance or families that simply have a cash flow problem, banks are usually the institutions that help them meet their goals.
Occidentals partner was a natural choice, Mr. Tingley added.
Broadway has a prominent position in south central Los Angeles, he said. Also, Broadway is trying to be more than simply a bank for the community, and their lobby has more of a feeling of a community center than a traditional bank lobby.
The resource center officially opened last Thursday. If it is successful, Broadway may begin originating student loans and may team with Occidental to open centers in all five of its Los Angeles branches.
In the meantime, Broadway is counting on the Exposition Park center to help it keep and bring in clients.
It will not only add value to our current customer relationships, Mr. Johnson said, but it will also reach out to individuals who do not have a relationship with us, showing them that we offer them more than just checking accounts.