Nov 042004
Authors: Sara Bahnson

It was all about the Benjamin’s at the Nontraditional Student

Fair in the Lory Student Center Art Lounge Wednesday afternoon.

“Money, Money, Money: Financial Tools for Survival,” a fair for

nontraditional students provided information on the services and

programs offered on campus and in the Fort Collins area.

“One of the major challenges for nontraditional students to

overcome is how to finance their education and pay for living

expenses at the same time,” wrote Jan Rastall, adult learner

coordinator for Off-Campus Student Services/Resources for Adult

Learners, in an e-mail interview. “The resource representatives

offer tips and suggestions for saving money and obtaining financial


A number of organizations attended the nontraditional student

fair including the university’s Career Center. The Career Center

provides a range of services to CSU students, including career and

major exploration, resume assistance, on-campus interviews and job


“It seems like nontraditional students don’t get enough

information about us, so this fair is a good opportunity,” said

Jackie Peila-Shuster, a graduate assistant and counselor at the

Career Center.

Care Housing was also represented at the fair. Care Housing is a

non-profit organization that provides affordable rental housing to

working families. Rent costs through Care Housing are based on 30

percent of the family’s income. Care Housing also offers parenting

classes, after-school tutoring and financial management programs to

families, according to Amelia Musgjerd, an intern for Care


The Larimer County Department of Human Services was on site to

provide information on food stamps and energy assistance programs.

The Colorado Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program assists with

the cost of heating based on income qualifications. The Food Bank

for Larimer County promoted their Food Share program, which

distributes nonperishable food, also based on income.

“The majority of students (at CSU) qualify for the Food Share

program; however, they don’t realize this,” said Alex Keiser, a

volunteer for the Food Bank.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service offered students information

on financial coaching, low-cost debt repayment plans and financial

counselors, while Student Financial Services handed out information

on the FAFSA and scholarship searching.

“Consumer Credit Counseling and Student Financial Services have

been especially helpful to nontraditional students because things

like financial aid are foreign to them,” said Haley Richards,

program coordinator for Apartment Life.

Rastall said the fair was beneficial to any student who had

questions about budgeting, scholarships, loans and other financial

services, not just nontraditional students.

“No Limits to Learning,” a collaborative initiative between

OCSS/RAL and Apartment Life sponsored the fair. “No Limits to

Learning” provides a series of programs that explore the richness

and complexity of experiences of nontraditional students while

celebrating the efforts in their daily lives as they pursue higher

education, Rastall said.

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