Affinity Plus staff lead ‘Smart Money’ sessions at Itasca Community College’s New Student Orientation

Sessions help demonstrate importance of good financial choices

ST PAUL, MN (August 31, 2016) — Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union welcomed Itasca Community College students back to school Aug. 22 with personal-finance information college officials say is among the most important factors in student success.

The four Affinity Plus “Smart Money” sessions were part of a day long series ICC offers to students during New Student Orientation. This was the second year Affinity Plus has led the Smart Money sessions. More than 150 students took part.

During the sessions, students participated in game-show-like activities to learn about:

  • budgeting for college living;
  • responsible credit card use;
  • student loans and determining how much to borrow;
  • planning ahead for expenses and unexpected school expenses;

Personal-finance information is “on the short list of topics college advisors, counselors and administrators have determined is one of the most-important factors in student success,” said Bill Marshall, ICC director of enrollment. “Affinity Plus staff members were able to impress upon many of our students important lessons that will undoubtedly prevent some from dropping out in future terms.”

Ben Morales and Jodie Swan, Affinity Plus member advisors, helped lead the sessions with Financial Educator Stephanie Musgrove.

“New college students are faced with a lot of decisions all at once,” Morales said. “As a community credit union, we’ve seen first-hand that students often don’t have the resources to make smart financial choices.”

Marshall said ICC partners with Affinity Plus because “the local credit union structure is based on, and relies on, healthy communities,” he said. “We know we can trust Affinity Plus to deliver messages that are in the students’ best interests.”

Affinity Plus conducts similar personal-finance sessions at other Minnesota colleges and universities, including freshman presentations in First Year Experience courses at Minnesota State University – Moorhead and Bemidji State University. Credit union educators also visit various professors’ classrooms at Winona State University and at schools across the Twin Cities.


About Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Established in 1930, Afinity Plus has 30 branches located throughout Minnesota and is owned by more than 230,000 members. Affinity Plus has over $3.5 billion in assets. Additional information is available at or by calling (800) 322-7228.


Hillary Kline
Senior Public Relations Specialist

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