Jefferson Community and Technical College wins national award for financial empowerment efforts

The nonprofit college-reform organization Achieving the Dream announced at its annual conference here today that Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) in Louisville has won the first-ever OneMain Financial Empowerment Award for its outstanding work helping students improve their financial literacy skills. The $25,000 award will allow JCTC to strengthen and expand its efforts to help all of its students be on solid financial ground to succeed in college and in life.

JCTC, one of over 200 colleges that are part of the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, has made financial literacy and empowerment a central strategic goal of its work. Partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Louisville Branch, JCTC has:

  • developed a new financial literacy component as part of the college s required Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) process for all first-time students;
  • created a financial literacy curriculum that is integrated into the college s required First Year Experience (FYE 105) course;
  • developed class activities, trained faculty and staff, and designed assessments to evaluate students financial literacy knowledge.

All first-time students at JCTC, 60 percent of whom receive Pell grants and nearly three-quarters of whom receive some form of financial aid, now have access to valuable information that will help them gain new skills in financial literacy and career planning and better understand the cost and value of a degree.

The program was first piloted with 1,231 students at JCTC in 2013, and last year was offered at full scale to 2,373 students in 2014. Research conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank, in conjunction with the college, show that students who took the financial literacy components included in the module, increased by more than 25 percent their understanding and comprehension of important financial literacy aspects as they relate to life and educational pursuits.

Providing financial literacy courses and education help students gain solid financial footing as they earn their degrees and credentials, and can be a crucial factor in their success. says Sheldon Caplis, Director of Community Relations at OneMain Holdings Inc. We have made financial education one of the cornerstones of our philanthropic efforts. We also sponsor a scholarship program providing additional financial support for low-income students at five Achieving the Dream Network colleges.

Student and family financial security is essential to increasing graduation rates, and vice-versa, says Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. This is not an either-or agenda. Putting students on a more stable financial footing helps them stay the course and complete their education. Likewise, increasing the number of students who successfully earn credentials is a crucial factor in strengthening family financial success, the local economy, and the overall well-being of the community as a whole.


Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.

OneMain Holdings Inc. is one of America s leading personal finance companies offering responsible and transparent personal loan products, primarily to nonprime consumers. For over 100 years, the company has been providing personalized, best-in-class service at more than 1,800 branches in 43 states. The company s iLoan internet lending division also provides customers the opportunity to complete the loan process entirely online. OneMain has more than 11,000 team members who proudly support the communities in which they live and work.