Financial Wellness Services will host open house Feb. 1


Kate Menzies

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Financial Wellness Services will host open house Feb. 1

The burden of knowing how to finance a college education will now become a bit easier for students and their families thanks to the opening of a financial wellness office here at UND. Financial Wellness Services aims to help students become more financially literate, at a time where students are undertaking one of the most substantial debts of their lives -- a college education.

At the open house there will be a ribbon cutting along with pizza and prizes. The grand prize will be a $100 gift certificate to the UND Bookstore. Also, the first 50 people that sign up for one-on-one counseling will receive a $10-gift certificate to the bookstore.

Starting Jan.28, keep a lookout for five financial pass phrases posted to the Financial Wellness Services Facebook and Twitter accounts for an extra registration opportunity for the grand prize.

Many divisions on the UND campus have come together to ensure the survival of this service, including the College of Business and Public Administration, the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Chester Fritz Library and the Department of Social Work. U.S. Bank and the Bank of North Dakota are also driving forces behind Financial Wellness Services at UND.

An important aspect of UND Financial Wellness Services will be the one-on-one counseling provided to students. Students will be able to meet with a peer counselor by appointment or by drop-in. The hope is for students to be able to gain an understanding of credit, budgeting, student loans and savings through this practical course in money management.

Kyle Thorson, PR and Marketing Coordinator, anticipates that students will be able to take away a sense of empowerment from the program as well as pride and responsibility in the ability to control one's finances.

Parents often are uneasy discussing financial issues with their child, according to a survey given to parents of first-year students by UND Health & Wellness.

"The parents would tell us 'we'd rather talk to our sons and daughters about sex than money,'" Laurie Betting, the University's associate vice president for health & wellness, says.

Patrick Hendrickson, content and research coordinator, said he thinks the reason why money and finance has become such a hard topic for discussion is because "sometimes parents don't feel they have an adequate knowledge about the topic themselves, making it hard to talk to their children about it."

One of the biggest mistakes students tend to make when trying to finance their college education is taking too much out in student loans, not realizing how long it might take to pay back the interest. Hendrickson added that often students tend to overestimate the projected income they will make after they graduate, "sometimes by a full 100 percent."

A unique aspect of Financial Wellness Services is that it is linked to Health & Wellness rather than Student Account Services like other college financial assistance programs, because, often, money issues can lead to stress, affecting one's health.

What: Open House for the new University of North Dakota Financial Wellness Services

Who: UND President Robert Kelley, Vice President of Student Affairs Lori Reesor, Student Body President Logan Fletcher, U.S. Bank regional president John Snustad, and Representatives of the Financial Wellness services

When: 10:15 a.m., Friday, Feb. 1

Where: Fourth floor McCannel Hall, near the UND Memorial Union

Kate Menzies

University Relations student writer

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