Newly funded program offers university students additional opportunities for financial counseling
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University is helping students become better money savers, spenders and borrowers.
By collaborating with the Council of Graduate Schools and financial services provider TIAA-CREF, the university is one of 15 institutions nationwide developing a grant-sponsored program that helps students manage their personal finances.
The Kansas State University program began this semester and has provided numerous group financial workshops as well as individual financial counseling sessions and online financial education opportunities. Two TIAA-CREF representatives recently met with researchers to learn more about services provided by Powercat Financial Counseling, grant activities and personal financial planning educational opportunities at the university.
"It's really a unique opportunity to help all our students, but especially our graduate students, learn personal and financial management and how to look at options when making decisions about purchases and how to manage the resources they have," said Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School and principal investigator for the grant.
The Kansas State University program focuses on student education in the key areas of budgeting, understanding credit and managing student loans. Numerous students have attended counseling sessions and benefited from the program.
"Just attending a few brief sessions gave me confidence and a plan for future financial success," said Kyle Anibas, graduate student in geography, Alma Center, Wis., who has participated in the program. "The sessions also provided a friendly and open environment to discuss any personal finance questions. Finally, I more fully understand loan options and repayment options, including loan forgiveness programs, which I was unaware of before attending the workshops."
Kansas State University researchers also are conducting surveys with students to learn more about their financial behaviors. Researchers are measuring the program's effectiveness to create best practices for improving financial education among college students.
By collaborating with the university's award-winning Powercat Financial Counseling, the program is reaching students through individual counseling, group financial presentations and through SALTmoney.org, an online financial tool introduced to the university in January 2013.
"Kansas State is committed to helping students increase their financial capability," said Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial Counseling. "With this grant opportunity those efforts, which began with the creation of Powercat Financial Counseling in 2009, can be expanded with a focus on offering support to our graduate students. Our individual financial counseling sessions, financial workshops and online SALT financial tool all focus on helping students successfully manage their finances and educational costs now and after they've graduated."
Students who want to learn more about financial management and the Kansas State University program can register for SALT, the free online financial tool, at http://www.k-state.edu/salt.