Investment for a lifetime

K-State’s financial literacy programs prepare students for financial sustainability

At Kansas State University, the investment in students is not just for four years, it is for life. This especially rings true for K-State’s financial literacy programs. By helping students learn to manage their finances while in college, students simultaneously prepare for long-term professional and financial success.

Within the Department of Personal Financial Planning, students can obtain a degree in personal financial planning, and any K-State student can take basic financial planning coursework. Two courses, Money 101 and Introduction to Personal Financial Planning, provide between 600 and 700 students each year with the fundamentals of financial literacy. An important aspect of these courses is preparing students for post-graduation decisions, such as purchasing their first home and creating a will.

Dr. Martin Seay, head of the personal financial planning department, believes investing in students now prepares them for more meaningful lives in the future. He says that many Americans are not equipped for the long-term implications of daily financial decisions, which means students need an understanding of the financial landscape that awaits them.

“During the college years, students are exposed to the general concepts of budgeting, saving and the idea of having a financial plan,” said Martin. “The concepts they learn in class are directly impactful after graduation, whether it be choosing the appropriate student loan repayment strategy, buying and insuring a car, purchasing life insurance, or starting a savings account.”

K-State’s financial literacy programs have received national recognition. In 2019, LendEDU ranked Kansas State University as No. 25 on its list of the top 50 financial literacy programs at colleges and universities across the United States. In addition to the Department of Personal Financial Planning, an important part of this success can be attributed to the resources provided by Powercat Financial.

Powercat Financial offers one-on-one client sessions through peer-to-peer instruction, group financial education workshops and online resources that guide students in reaching financial independence. Additionally, different monthly programs, such as Eating Healthy on a Budget, provide students with tangible skills to become more aware of productive financial strategies.  

One unique offering of Powercat Financial is the college financial planning process. Through this process, students are guided in creating a personalized plan to pay for college. Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial, says students who work with Powercat Financial to make this plan early in their college career find they have the tools to make informed financial decisions.

One unique way that personal financial planning students, plus students from other financial-related majors, help other students is by becoming trained peer financial counselors through Powercat Financial and serving on the Student Advisory Board. The Department of Personal Financial Planning and Powercat Financial have collaborated to assist students with grant opportunities, provide financial programming, optimize service-learning opportunities and more.

“Through the combination of formal coursework in the Department of Personal Financial Planning and the one-on-one counseling and education services provided by Powercat Financial, K-State is showing that we care about the well-being of our students and are investing in their future,” said Seay.

An important aspect of these financial literacy programs is philanthropic assistance. Private donations support student counselors at Powercat Financial, instructors who teach financial literacy courses and scholarships for personal financial planning students.

“The philanthropic support helps offer students in financial-related majors this unique hands-on experience to apply what they are learning in the classroom and to develop interpersonal skills with practice while also helping other students,” said Kaus. “Our services have been able to grow to meet the needs of the entire campus community for helpful financial resources due to the generous support of donors who are committed to helping reduce barriers to student success.

To learn more about Powercat Financial and its financial education services for students, visit www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial. To learn more about the Department of Personal Financial Planning, visit https://www.hhs.k-state.edu/pfp/.

For more information on these programs and ways you can support them, contact Jeff Haug at jeffh@ksufoundation.org or 785-775-2061.

Written by: Ariana Brancato

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Zach Hanood Senior Development Officer - Universitywide

785-775-2058
zachh@ksufoundation.org

Scott Jensen Assistant Director of Development - Universitywide

785-775-2078
scottj@ksufoundation.org