Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Author: Powercat Financial

Director of PFC

Time to find that part-time job!

Part-time jobs can be beneficial to students regardless of their financial status and should be one of the first things they do when they get on campus. Students who work part-time jobs gain valuable real life work experience, develop interpersonal skills, and improve their time management. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics even found that students working less than 20 hours a week earn about 0.10 higher GPAs than those who don’t work at all. The bottom line is, part-time work can assist students in their professional development in many ways. Today, we’ll be discussing where you can find part-time work and how to get that job.

Finding Part-Time Work:

It might seem a little overwhelming at first, but finding a part-time job at K-State is easy! Handshake is an online resource you can use that can help you find who is hiring in your area and then easily connect with them. Through Handshake, you can search/ refine job postings, review career fair information, manage on-campus recruiting, and even find internships or full-time work. Students interested in setting up a Handshake account can do so with their K-State eID at https://www.k-state.edu/careercenter/handshake/.


Chances are, finding a part-time job, or any sort of job, will begin with an application process. The application is a critical part of the process. Before submitting anything, make sure to read the job description. This will have important details of what the employer is looking for and can help you phrase your resume and application appropriately. Additionally, the required qualifications can also help you tailor your resume to what your employer is looking for, but it can also help determine if this job is the right fit for you.

Work Study:

One way in which students can make themselves more marketable to potential employers is through the federal work study program. Students who qualify for work study through the FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, are eligible to have their paycheck paid partially by the Federal government. This makes employers more likely to hire students and allows students to work part-time jobs throughout their education. Once you receive work study in your aid package, the next step is to secure an on-campus job and to let your department HR person know you have work study eligibility. They will then have to complete a Position Description form and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to begin applying your work study aid to the department to help fund your paychecks.

Benefits of Part-Time Work:

Aside from helping you professionally, one of the primary things employers look for in hiring full-time candidates is previous work experience. Often times, students find themselves in the vicious cycle of not being able to gain work experience due to their lack of previous work experience. Part-time jobs allow students to break this cycle by gaining valuable transferrable skills. Furthermore, students with part-time jobs have the opportunity to make connections that may be beneficial to them in the future and improve on their time management skills.

If you found this article useful or are interested in learning more about where you can find part-time work, then Powercat Financial can be an awesome resource for you! Peer Counselors can help you build a budget to plan how many hours you’ll need to work, can help you evaluate job offers, and can help you understand benefits. For more information, check out our website and schedule an appointment with us!


Avery Bolar

Peer Counselor III

Powercat Financial

302 K-State Student Union, Third Floor

918 N. 17th Street

Manhattan, KS 66506-2800




Protecting Yourself on the Road: A Simplified Guide to Car Insurance

Traffic around campus during the school year can be chaotic. I recall driving through campus on the first day of class. The sun was in my eyes, cars were lined up behind stoplights, students were crossing the street everywhere, and everyone was in a hurry to make it to class on time. Although I am gripping the steering wheel so hard my knuckles turn white, I have peace of mind knowing my truck has full coverage and I am financially prepared in case of an emergency.

I consider myself to be a great driver, but no one is perfect. Everyone carries the risk of getting in a car accident, but most people carry less financial risk because of insurance. The question many people ask is: “How do I know if I’m financially protected in case of an accident?” Insurance policies can contain language that may seem foreign, so sometimes it is difficult to understand what you are paying for. I will outline some of these terms and concepts, so you can select the best policy for you and be better prepared for financial emergencies.

Basic Insurance Terms:

Limits: The maximum amount that a policy will pay out. It can be expressed in several ways such as an annual limit, per person limit, or per accident limit.

Premium: The dollar amount you pay the insurance company for a particular policy.

Deductible: The amount you have to pay before the insurance policy pays. For auto insurance, this is typically the amount you pay per accident. Example: You get in an accident and your repairs are $2,000 and your deductible is $1,000. You are required to pay $1,000 and the insurance policy will pay the other $1,000.

Basic types of Coverage:

Liability: Coverage in case you get into a car accident and it is your fault. If the other person involved in the accident gets hurt or has damage to their vehicle, you are responsible for paying for these damages (including medical expenses resulting from bodily injury). Liability coverage will pay up to a certain limit to the injured third party. Your policy will often have stated limits of liability that look like this:

300/500/300 or $300,000/$500,000/$300,000

The first number represents the bodily injury liability limits per person. So this policy will pay $300,000 for every passenger that was injured in an accident you caused. The exception to this is if you reach the per accident limit (the middle number) of $500,000. The policy will not cover you for over that amount for each accident you cause. For instance, if you have the limits listed above and you injure 2 passengers who each have $300,000 worth of medical expenses for a total of $600,000, you will be responsible for paying $100,000 out of pocket. The last number represents how much coverage you have for damage to someone else’s property, stated on a per accident basis.

Vehicle Coverage – Comprehensive and Collison: This type of coverage protects you financially in case your vehicle was damaged in an accident. Collision insurance protects your vehicle if you were to get in a wreck. Comprehensive, also known as other-than-collision coverage, protects your vehicle from other things like fire, vandalism and hail. The purpose of this coverage is to pay for repairs to your vehicle after an accident, or help you replace your vehicle in the event of a total loss. An agreed upon deductible will apply in this type of coverage. So for instance, if you have a $1,000 deductible and your repairs after an accident only cost $750, you are required to pay for the repair fully out of pocket.

Keep in mind that there are many other types of coverage you can get in an auto insurance policy that are worth taking a look at. Accident forgiveness, Personal Injury Protection, and Uninsured/underinsured Motorist are all different types of coverages you can add to your policy.

Tips for selecting the right policy:

When it comes to picking the right policy for you, you have to find something that you can fit in your budget, but at the same time, protect you and your assets. Buying insurance is similar to setting up an emergency savings account, they are both helping you prepare for the unexpected.

When selecting liability limits, understand that Kansas law requires you to have at least 25/50/10 limits of liability. Is that enough? Absolutely not. How many vehicles in Manhattan are worth more than $10,000? In a bad accident with multiple vehicles, medical expenses can easily soar past $50,000. So what are acceptable limits? Most insurance agents recommend getting the highest limits that you are offered and can afford premium-wise. Financial guru Dave Ramsey says that you should have at least $500,000 worth of liability coverage. Keep in mind newer drivers might not be offered limits this high.

Comprehensive and collision coverage may be expensive depending on the value of your car. If you have a brand new vehicle, you’ll likely want to have this coverage. If you drive a very old and very inexpensive car, you’ll have to weigh your options and risk. One opinion indicates, if you have enough emergency savings to replace the vehicle and it carries a very low resale value, then you might consider forgoing the coverage.

One way to save on comprehensive and collision coverage is to raise your deductible. Although you will have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident, you will likely save a lot more by having lower premiums. Your premiums are also based on your driving history (tickets and accidents), age, and even your credit score.

The last piece of advice I would give is make sure that you understand your policy and how you need to react in the event of an accident. There are also certain exclusions in an insurance policy that will state when coverage will not be granted. Know how your insurance company wants you to handle reporting any claims.

Managing risk can be stressful. We deal with uncertainty every day. If you are wondering how you can be better prepared for emergencies and want some advice on saving and budgeting, make an appointment with a peer financial counselor! You can schedule a free appointment by visiting our website: https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/



Morgan Flax

Peer Counselor II

Powercat Financial


Jodi’s Corner: It’s the beginning of a new year and it’s out with the old and in with the new!

From 2012 through 2018, Kansas State University partnered with American Student Assistance (ASA) to provide their Saltmoney.org (“Salt”) online financial tool as a resource to K-State students and alumni. ASA retired the Salt platform on December 31, 2018, thus Saltmoney accounts are no longer available.

Powercat Financial continues to offer all of its other suite of financial services to current students as it has for the past 10 years! A free online financial tool called CashCourse.org is available as an alternative to Salt and is found within the Powercat Financial list of available course at http://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/programs/.

To encourage students to check out the CashCourse.org financial tool there is a new “Get Money Savvy With CashCourse” badge in K-State 360. With this new badge, students will obtain financial skills training on a variety of essential life skills via free resources offered in the online financial tool at CashCourse.org. Plus all students who complete this new badge by April 15, 2019, will be entered into a drawing for a $200 gift card. Students may learn more about our K-State 360 badges at http://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/360/.

All of the valuable financial resources offered by Powercat Financial are still on our website at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial. Student loan servicers or lenders may also be contacted for any specific student loan support issues, along with K-State’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. Current K-State students on the Manhattan campus and Global Campus may continue to seek financial education from Powercat Financial and request free individual financial counseling sessions via k-state.edu/powercatfinancial. Campus student groups and classes may also continue to request financial workshops and presentations from Powercat Financial via the online form at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/services/presentations.

Our Powercat Financial blog followers may also want to check out the blog by CashCourse creator NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education) found at https://www.onyourown.org/. The blog has a fresh new look that aims to provide young adults with an engaging financial education experience.

Powercat Financial looks forwarding to helping all student achieve their financial goals in 2019! Happy New Year!

To request your free appointment, visit our website at www.ksu.edu/powercatfinancial.

Jodi Kaus, JD, CTFA
Powercat Financial


Top 10 Financial Services Our Peer Financial Counselors Offer Students

Powercat Financial is here to support students through their journey to becoming financial independent and to staying on the path of financial wellness. Below are a few of the helpful, free services our peer financial counselors offer fellow students:

  1. Assistance creating a personal spending plan to achieve financial goals of studying abroad, saving for emergencies, buying a car, moving off campus or just staying on budget;
  2. Helping you get all of your student loan information organized and explained in an easy-to-understand method to reduce your confusion;
  3. A review of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and has no mistakes or identity theft concerns;
  4. Cutting through the complexity of student loan repayment and explain the various repayment options;
  5. Explanation of the pros and cons of either consolidation or refinancing of student loans;
  6. A review all of the factors that are important when trying to increase your credit score;
  7. Help with determining who your federal loan servicers are and helping you connect with them;
  8. Assistance creating a to-do list of important financial tasks and deadlines for being successful as a K-State student;
  9. Helping you review job offers and understand the employee benefits and prepare questions to ask your future employer;
  10. Exploring any loan forgiveness programs that you may be eligible for.

All of these services are offered in a personal, confidential setting in 302 Union (on the Union third floor) with a trained peer financial counselors who understands what it is like managing financial decisions as a students. They can help you reduce your financial stress, avoid costly financial mistakes and learn how to create your path to financial wellness.

Current K-State undergraduate or graduate students on the Manhattan campus, Vet Med students and Global Campus student may request a free appointment online anytime at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial.

Jodi Kaus, Director

Powercat Financial


Why Young People Should Care About Disability Insurance Today!

You may be young, but you’re not invincible. According to the Social Security Administration, more than one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled prior to reaching retirement age. Yet, currently four in every ten workers do not have any disability insurance at all. Here are four reasons why you should not be in that statistic:

  1. Liquidity

Your health insurance may cover your medical bills but it will not put food on your table or gas in your car. Disability insurance helps you replace your lost income that you used for everyday living expenses. Most young people do not have very much in savings yet, since they just entered the workforce, and are living paycheck-to-paycheck. So really, you can’t afford NOT to have disability insurance!

  1. Workers Compensation Isn’t Enough

Even though you might have workers compensation insurance through your employer, less than half of all disabling conditions of young workers are workplace-related. That means that you are more likely to get a disabling condition that does not qualify for workers compensation insurance.

  1. Government Benefits Aren’t Much

Sure, the government will give you some bare-minimum disability benefits through Social Security…if you have been disabled for the last 12 months! If you can’t make it a year on your savings, you’re out of luck with government benefits. Short-term disability insurance could help you within weeks!

  1. It’s Not That Expensive

Disability insurance really is not all that expensive, especially considering the great risk you’re protecting against. It could just be a monthly $10-45 out of your paycheck. Many employers offer group rates that are less expensive. You can also reduce your premiums even further by extending your elimination period (the period before benefits kick in), shortening the term of your coverage, or replacing less of your income. Disability insurance is also significantly cheaper and easier to get when you are young and healthy. Don’t wait until your symptoms start!

Another component of disability insurance worth mentioning is the difference between “any occupation” and “own occupation” insurance. Any occupation means you must be incapable of doing any job, not just what you currently do. The premiums are significantly cheaper than own occupation, however this kind of plan can be risky for highly specialized employees. For example, if you are a surgeon and lost your hand making you unable to perform surgeries, but you can still flip burgers at McDonald’s with the other hand, any occupation disability insurance would not accept your claim (but you would still have a significant income reduction). However, if you had own occupation insurance, any injury or condition that prohibited you from performing surgery (your current occupation) would qualify you for disability benefits. Knowing this distinction is important when analyzing your disability insurance coverage.

No one wants to think about the worst happening. However for you and your family’s needs, you should protect yourself against the risk of becoming disabled at a young age by having disability insurance. It is way better to be safe than sorry!

As those job offers and benefits packages start rolling in, consider scheduling an appointment with a Powercat Financial Peer Counselor before the end of the semester. We would all be happy to go over your offer(s) to further explain your benefit options, including disability benefits.

Abby Pope

Peer Counselor I

Powercat Financial








Come see Young Money LIVE! Tuesday April 3rd 5:30-6:30

Learn 5 Powerful Steps To Financial Success at Young Money LIVE!

Do you worry that you need a six-figure salary to be financially successful?  Do you have money on your mind more often than you’d like? Do you feel overwhelmed because you don’t know where to start when it comes to managing your money?

Worry no more! Powercat Financial is hosting Todd Romer, founder of Young Money University and the Young Money LIVE! Financial Success Speaking Tour. Romer has been teaching and coaching thousands of millennials how to create a life that fits their dreams by learning how to think about and see money differently. Many of the students he has visited on college campuses even began calling him their money coach. He is also the author of the new book Young Money: A Powerful 5 Step Plan to Financial Success Now.

The 1st step of his book is to Make a Decision to Dream.

Romer mentions that although it may seem odd, this step is absolutely essential in creating the foundation to one’s financial success. He believes that too many young adults “are just wandering through life and afraid to dream real dreams because of good old fashioned fear”.

Figure Our Your Why?

Romer then challenges us to find our purpose or reasoning behind our goals and dreams. He believes finding our WHY is what will consistently motivate us to stay committed. If we remember and focus on our WHY, our purpose, then everything should fall into place.

Set Short, Mid, and Long Term SMART Goals

It is important that we give ourselves the practice of achieving short term goals first so that we don’t get discouraged in achieving those larger dreams and goals. Be sure that when setting goals that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  A few examples are listed below:

  1. Short Term – I will set up an automatic savings plan this week by having my employer put away 10% of my paycheck into my savings account and the remaining 90% into my checking account.
  2. Mid Term – I will save $7,000 within 1 year to put toward a used car.
  3. Long Term – I will save $150,000 in 15 years to pay off my mortgage in half the time.

To find out Steps 2 – 5, attend Young Money LIVE! on Tuesday, April 3 at 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Room 1088 of the College of Business. The first 75 student attendees will receive a free copy of his book! Stick around afterwards for a book signing reception from 6:30 -7:30 in the atrium of the College of Business.

Co-sponsors of this event include Powercat Financial, the College of Business and K-State Credit Union. This event kicks off April’s Financial Literacy Month and is part of Wildcat Wellness Week.

If you have any questions about the event, please don’t hesitate to email Powercat Financial at powercatfinancial@ksu.edu.

Princess Moran

Graduate Assistant and Peer Financial Counselor I

Powercat FinancialYoung_Money_Live_flyer-wi7unf

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