Resource Center: Funding & Recognition

Awards: Member Spotlight

Congratulations to winners of the Outstanding Financial Counseling or Planning Center Award!

2018 call for nominations opens late Spring 2018.


2017: University of North Texas Student Money Management Center

Paul Goebel & Rachel Grimes

Research has shown that students are more likely to drop out of school because of “outside pressures” – such as finances and employment pressures – than poor grades. The University of North Texas created the Student Money Management Center (SMMC) in the fall of 2005 with the goal to streamline all financial literacy education services under the oversight of one dedicated office serving as a single point entry to eliminate frustrations and confusion among students seeking support, counsel and guidance. Since its inception, the center has served more than 96,000 students, individuals, families, and community members. Through the efforts of a dedicated team, students, families, and community members are gaining the confidence and knowledge needed to successfully manage their financial lives. In addition, the center’s leadership team readily and freely shares materials, resources, and guidance to AFCPE members, practitioners, and educators. Since 2008 more than 375 institutions of higher learning and practitioners have reached out to center to learn how to create and replicate programs and services. Today the center continues to serve with distinction the mission of AFCPE and the criteria of this award through its ever-growing array of innovative programs and services.


2016: Merrimack College Financial Capability Center 

Ana Silva

The Financial Capability Center is a partnership between Merrimack College in North Andover, MA, and ACT Lawrence, a community development corporation, that provides bilingual financial education, coaching and counselling services to the low-income, mostly Latino, residents of the City of Lawrence, MA. The goals of the Center are: 1) to provide Merrimack College students with the knowledge, skills, practice, and confidence necessary to become effective financial coaches; 2) to increase financial stability for low-income and underserved individuals and households in Lawrence through building financial capability, and 3) to promote financial inclusion and healthy financial behaviors on campus and in the larger community through education, coaching, participatory action research, and outreach. 


2015: University of Utah Personal Money Management Center

Ann House

When the University of Utah was designing their student money management center, they turned to best practices and recent bodies of academic research to guide them. With a nod to the national statistics, in 2011 Utah began the center based on reducing student debt, and keeping default and delinquency rates low. They are the recipients of this year’s award much in part to their ability to collaborate with campus and community partners, their accessible and creative outreach to students and their focus on a variety of delivery systems to meet the needs and learning styles of a diverse campus of students.

The center is one of the oldest student money management centers and has become a model for other college centers.  Under Ann’s guidance, since 2011, the center has grown to a staff of nine, now has its own suite of offices in the Student Union building and reaches more than 20,000 students each semester through face to face contacts, events, and workshops.

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