HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State
University students traveled to Denver Oct. 8 to 12 and competed at the 2010 national
Financial Planning Challenge and finished second place alongside universities
from across the nation.
The Challenge is presented by the
Academy of Financial Services, Ameriprise Financial (the founding corporate
sponsor), the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. and the
Financial Planning Association.
The competition entailed creating a
financial plan for a family, including insurance, investments, retirement,
education, loans and anything else that figures into a normal financial plan.
The 2010 team consisted of Jennifer Ney, Great Bend senior, and Cameron Werth, Hays junior.
"It gives students valuable
real-life experience," said Dr. Tom Johansen, professor of finance and
economics. "We have separate classes for these topics in our curriculum,
but the competition gives them the opportunity to bring it all together."
"When students finish in the
top five of an elite competition like this, they have so many career doors and
options open to them," said Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the College of
Business and Leadership. "They will find terrific jobs in an exciting
The competition is split into three
portions: an oral presentation, a written presentation and a game show section.
The students received the proposal in late May and worked on the written plan
over the summer and during the fall 2010 semester. The faculty advisor is unable
to help in the writing.
"The written plan was very
professional," said Johansen. "They did a great job and were rewarded
The oral presentation involved
presenting their plan to a board of professional financial planners. When the
students arrived in Denver, they were given a twist to the scenario, so they
were forced to modify their plan on the fly and present their changes in the
"The oral presentation is very
intimidating because the plan you worked so hard on is scrutinized by
professionals," said Johansen. "They had very little time to prepare
it this year but still did very well. I couldn't have asked for more."
The team finished second in the game
show portion after a close match with the last question deciding the team's
FHSU is a nationally recognized
contender in the financial planning arena. With placement in the top five for
the last 9 years, FHSU teams have earned that recognition.
"You generally get the response
of 'where is that?' when you mention FHSU," said Johansen. "Not so in
the financial planning community. Of the 100 or so undergraduate programs in
the United States, people know who we are."
Financial planning institutions
around the nation aren't the only ones who can see that FHSU is a financial
"Many people in the area are
unfamiliar with the competition and FHSU's reputation," said Werth.
"All of the big-name schools at the competition know where FHSU is and
that we have one of the most outstanding programs in the nation for financial
"Even the new schools are aware
of our reputation," he said. "Coupled with our win over both Kansas
State teams, our second-place win is a phenomenal achievement."
"FHSU is proud to have one of
the premier financial planning programs in America," said Bannister.
"Dr. Johansen does a fantastic job of leading the financial planning
program and preparing students to measure up to their peers nation wide. Their
success reflects very well on the university."
For more information about the
competition or the financial planning programs available at FHSU, contact the
Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting at 785-628-5805 or visit its
website at http://www.fhsu.edu/efa.
Photo Identification from left to
right: Cameron Werth, Jennifer Ney and Tom Johansen