Director of Parent & Family Relations Mindy R. Weixelman recently sat down with Associate Director of Student Financial Assistance/Director of Powercat Financial Counseling (PFC) Jodi Kaus to learn more about PFC and how it benefits K-State students and families.
Mindy: Hi Jodi! Some of our K-State parents and families are likely familiar with PFC, but I’m guessing quite a few might be new to learning about the great work you and your students are doing. Tell us about Powercat Financial Counseling (PFC).
Jodi: PFC began in 2009 and is a financial education center where students are trained to assist fellow students with their money questions and provide financial education workshops and events across campus. It also promotes the online financial tool, Salt Money, where students AND alumni can learn more about money and student loan management along with career tips – all for FREE.
Mindy: I know students and families appreciate access to these types of services, and knowing that they are FREE. Wow, you’ve seen PFC grow from a little acorn to a mighty oak. Tell parents and families about your role at PFC.
Jodi: I am a financial planner, a K-State graduate, and act as the Director overseeing the program development, peer financial counselor training and financial education initiatives for K-State.
Mindy: That’s a big role! How many staff/students typically work in the office?
Jodi: We have two graduate students, about 6 experienced peer counselors in their 2nd or 3rd year with PFC, and another 9-12 new peer financial counselors in-training in their first year with PFC.
Mindy: It’s nice to see undergraduate and graduate students working and learning together. What does a student do if he/she wants to become a peer counselor?
Jodi: Each year in February a student can apply with applications due the first Friday in March. If a student isn’t ready to be a peer financial counselor, they can apply to join our PFC Student Advisory Board which markets the services and hosts fun interactive financial events like Spring Break NOT Spring Broke, Marriage & Money, and Eating Healthy on a Budget. Both applications can now be found online.
Mindy: Glad I asked! The application deadline is rapidly approaching. Where is the PFC office located?
Jodi: The main office is in 222 K-State Student Union, BUT with renovations of the Union all financial counseling sessions are currently being held in Hale Library Rooms 108, 109 or 111. Upon completion of the Union renovation project, we are excited to announce that PFC will have a new state-of-the-art financial center centrally located on the third floor of the K-State Student Union. We can’t wait to be in our new home!
Mindy: I bet! The new space will definitely enhance your ability to serve students. I can tell you are proud of PFC, and the work that is taking place. What do you enjoy MOST about working at PFC?
Jodi: Sharing in the joy that peer financial counselors experience when THEY are the catalyst that helps students understand their finances and achieve their financial goals.
Mindy: Ok, we’re almost done. Just a few more questions. Share two ways that PFC helps K-State students be successful.
Jodi: PFC will help a student create a personal spending plan or budget to help them stay on track and to guide them in their financial decisions from moving into an apartment, studying abroad or saving for their future. Services also help students evaluate their student loans and plan for their future by understanding their student loan repayment options and possible loan forgiveness opportunities in conjunction with their future income potential.
Mindy: If a student or family member has a question, how should they contact PFC?
Jodi: A student can request an appointment for a free financial session by visiting our website. Students and parents can email questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (785) 532-2889 between 8:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. We’re eager to assist!
Mindy: What is the best kept secret about PFC?
Jodi: Free professional financial advice on a variety of important college financial topics is a rare commodity and can benefit any student from beginner to those more experienced with personal financial management.
Mindy: Jodi, I’ve learned so much during our time together. I hope parents and families have, too. Last chance…Anything else you want to share with K-State parents and families?
Jodi: We recommend students meet early their first year with PFC to develop their own personal college financial plan and then review it each semester with their peer financial counselor. The earlier students meet with PFC the more successful their financial futures can become!
Mindy: That’s great advice! Thank you for sitting down with me today. Now go enjoy the beautiful afternoon, and GO CATS!