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College of Human Ecology

Four-time champion: K-STATE’S FINANCIAL PLANNING TEAM WINS NATIONAL COMPETITION

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

MANHATTAN -- For the fourth time in seven years, Kansas State University has won the National Collegiate Financial Planning Championship, which is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial, Inc., Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., and the Financial Planning Association.

The competition finals were held April 19-22 in Minneapolis, Minn. This is the seventh year that a K-State team has participated in the competition finals. K-State also won the national title in 2005, 2003 and 2000.

This year’s winning team exemplifies the future of the financial planning profession. Team members, all seniors studying Personal Financial Planning, included three women – Julie Fletcher, Audrea Youngers, and Jamie Mager. This is the first time that a team of all women students has won the national championship.

"The K-State Financial Planning team has once again proven that K-State's personal Financial Planning Program is one of the top such programs in the country," said Bill Meredith, director of K-State's School of Family Studies and Human Services. "Four national championships in seven years...it doesn't get much better than that."

The competition began when 30 to 40 universities and colleges received a case study from Ameriprise Financial, Inc. at the end of January. Teams of students then had the month of February to prepare a written financial plan for the case clients. The rules of the competition were simple. Students could only use word processing and spreadsheet software. No professional financial planning software could be used. Further, students could not obtain assistance from faculty or professional advisors. After each team had completed their plan it was sent to Minneapolis to be judged. K-State's plan was one of the eight chosen for the final competition, which meant the team would move on to the final segment of the competition.

Once teams reached the final competition in Minneapolis, students were given a twist on the case's scenario, which required them to redo a portion of the plan in one evening. The revised plan was presented the next day to a panel of judges. Team members were judged on their revised case analysis and presentation skills. Competitors also participated in a "Jeopardy" game where their knowledge of personal financial planning was tested. The K-State financial planning team won the best written plan portion of the competition and earned third place in the game portion of the competition. When all of the points were tallied, K-State came out on top of the competition. The second place winner was Texas Tech University followed by Slippery Rock University. With the win, the K-State's personal financial planning program received a $10,000 scholarship gift.

The team’s academic advisor, John Grable, Ph.D., summed up the victory this way: “Many individuals who followed the competition remarked how unusual it was that a team of three women competed in the competition. In what is generally a male dominated profession it was a pleasant surprise to watch three talented young women, all of whom are entering the financial planning profession, compete head-to-head with the best and brightest college students in the country and win!

2006 National Champions!2006 National Champions!
Jamie Mager, Julie Fletcher, and Audrea Youngers

K-State has made it to the finals in the American Express Competition each of the seven years it has been held, bringing home first place four years and third place one year. $10,000 in scholarship funds is awarded for first place.

YearPlacingTeam Members
20061st PlaceJulie Fletcher, Jamie Mager, Audrea Youngers
20051st PlaceRamona Arnold, Christopher Gasken, Marc Shaffer
2004FinalistGabriel Asbedo, Sarah Boyd, Ashlyn Ward
20031st PlaceJamie Breeden, Lucas Bucl, Wes Uhl
20023rd PlaceVance Lahey, Kristie Stueve, Jamie Dickens
2001FinalistLisa Andres, James Norton, Ryan Walker
20001st PlaceChad Boisseau, Angie Herbers, Nichole Meyer

This article was posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, and is filed under Institute of Personal Financial Planning.