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College of Human Ecology

Powercat Financial Counseling marks 5 years of service to students

Monday, February 2, 2015

Powercat Financial Counseling is celebrating its five-year anniversary of providing free financial education to Kansas State University students.

It started as a student learning and outreach center in the personal financial planning program in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, College of Human Ecology.

Since opening its doors in fall 2009, it has become a national model for other universities.

Powercat Financial CounselingPowercat Financial Counseling offers free service for students to learn about budgeting, understanding credit, identity theft, investing and more.
The program has served more than 1,700 individual student financial counseling sessions and more than 23,000 attendees to group financial workshops and presentations.

"I think that the program's success stems from the fact that this really was a student-driven venture," said Jodi Kaus, program director. "Our student government representatives and their members researched and approached administration with the idea to create and pay for a center that would help students gain essential knowledge about their financial affairs. Faculty and staff came together with students to bring that idea into reality."

The program has since expanded to provide online counseling for distance learning students and on-site services to veterinary medicine students. It also provides students and alumni a free membership to SaltMoney.org, with mini courses on money management, created by American Student Assistance.

Personal financial planning students and other finance-related majors serve as peer counselors. The peer counselor training lasts approximately one semester and involves education about the counseling process as well as office policies and procedures, as students put their knowledge into practice.

"Our financial education services have grown each and every semester since our inception and it's exciting to see how the program has become a leader of innovative best practices for student financial education in its first five years of existence," Kaus said.

This article was posted on Monday, February 2, 2015, and is filed under College News, Family Studies & Human Services, Institute of Personal Financial Planning.