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MU Office for Financial Success to Increase Visibility to Help Students

State Farm donation aids in upgrading facilities

September 14th, 2011

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – During this time of economic instability, more and more college students across the country are struggling to pay for college degrees while also balancing their checkbooks. New numbers released by the U.S. Department of Education show that the national student loan default rate has increased from 7 to 8.8 percent in the past three years. Their most recent numbers also indicate that the average college student debt is more than $23,000. The University of Missouri is addressing this concern for MU students through the Office for Financial Success (OFS), located within the College of Human Environmental Sciences. The OFS recently received a $10,000 donation from State Farm Insurance, which will help the office upgrade their facilities to provide the best possible advice and experience for MU students.

Ryan Law is the director of the Office for Financial Success and the director of the University of Missouri Council on Economic Education.

The OFS is staffed with student volunteers who are studying personal financial planning at MU and provides free financial counseling for MU students. The knowledgeable student advisers provide student loan advice, credit card debt counseling, and other important financial services to all MU students. The donation from State Farm will help the OFS move from their current basement office in Stanley Hall on the MU campus, to a much more accessible location on the first floor of the building.

“The overall benefit for this move is to the students,” Ryan Law, OFS director and the director of the University of Missouri Council on Economic Education, said. “This move will increase the visibility of the Office for Financial Success, so that more students will be able to find it and utilize the services that we have available, including financial counseling and volunteer income tax assistance.”

“The Office for Financial Success shares a very important part of State Farm’s mission statement: helping people manage the risks of everyday life,” David Haymon, a State Farm Agency Field Executive, said. “State Farm is pleased to award this grant, which will increase the capacity for MU students and faculty to serve our community.”

“State Farm’s continued support for our Office for Financial Success is in recognition of the importance and effectiveness of our efforts to serve the MU campus with regard to financial literacy education and counseling,” Rob Weagley, associate professor and chair of the MU Department of Personal Financial Planning, said.

In addition to providing free financial services for MU students, the OFS provides discounted financial counseling for the community as well. For more information about the OFS, visit: The OFS needs a balance of approximately $200,000 in order to complete the renovation and move to the first floor of Stanley Hall.