Financial counseling receives large grant from insurance giant

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Powercat Financial Counseling received a $10,000 grant from State Farm Insurance in a special ceremony Monday night in the Town Hall room of the Leadership Studies Building.

Virginia Moxley, dean of the College of Human Ecology praised the setup of the financial counseling center.

“It has proven to be a really good consideration, we have founded a student financial center grounded in financial planning, yes that makes sense,” Moxely said. “It should have its front door in student government, that is also a great idea, and as a result we have a partnership with the college of business.”

Powercat Financial Counseling helps students learn how to budget, prevent identity theft, manage debt and plan for expenses during and after college.

Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial Counseling, said the service has not been around for a long time.

“Really it’s so new, we’ve created this enterprise in such a short time, two years,” Kaus said. “People always ask how long it took to get set up, five or six years? No, two.”

Next year, the group will have 18 counselors, five new and 13 returning, as well as an additional 20 members on the advisory committee. The counselors spend a semester training, and they include financial planning, business, agriculture economics and economics majors. The advisory committee is more diverse, and their tasks for next year involve raising more awareness about the counseling services.

Laura Weiss-Cook, graduate student in family studies and human services, spoke at the presentation of the award on how the counseling service has benefited her.

“Powercat Financial Counseling has enabled me to be a better future professional,” Weiss-Cook said. “How to meet with clients, how to think on the fly, and how to take copious notes.”

Not content to rest on their laurels, Powercat Financial Counseling is now applying for a $100,000 grant to help make students at K-State more financially literate.

“We want to create a financial culture change so students aren’t just working with an advisor on an academic plan, but also so they can work with a financial planner,” Kaus said. “Some students walk in as seniors for the first time and are contemplating how to pay off their loans and start their career.”

Moxley said Powercat Financial Counseling has the potential to make an enormous impact at K-State.

“Just imagining changing the culture of way the young people in college approach finances, so when they graduate they either leave with assets accumulated or lower levels of debt,” Moxley. “They find their way through college without a debt that will compromise their future well-being.”

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