UK Invests is a new, initiative to help students build a foundation of financial literacy and healthy habits
Have you ever thought about the power of an opportunity?
We’re presented with numerous opportunities throughout our lifetime — some big, some small. But all it takes is one, the right one, to change your life.
At the University of Kentucky, we are dedicated to upholding a powerful promise — to prepare students to lead lives of meaning and purpose.
Part of that commitment is empowering and encouraging students to understand the importance of investing in themselves and their future.
In September 2022, we told you about UK Invests — a new, first-of-its-kind initiative to help students become healthier, wealthier and wiser by building a foundation of financial literacy and healthy habits.
“Through this program, UK is showing they want us to succeed beyond our time in college," Kyle Prigg, a UK junior, said. “They are trying to put us on the best path forward, which I don’t think many universities do. I think that’s super important and a big opportunity for a lot of students.”
Following the completion of online financial education courses, personal brokerage accounts were available for UK’s student-athletes during the first phase.
“UK Invests gives students the opportunity to learn how to invest money — how to manage and budget it,” Langston Jackson, a May 2023 graduate, said. “If you don’t know anything about investing, it’s overwhelming, so UK Invests taught me how to research what I put my money into.”
In Spring 2023, the university continued to expand the program — giving cohorts of students across campus the opportunity to open accounts and earn money.
For students, like Anna Hoover, the program is already paying off.
“I've always been interested in investing, and I never really knew where to start,” she said. “UK Invests is providing me a with a place to get those answers.”
Here’s a reminder on how UK Invests works:
- Students can create a brokerage account and learn about financial wellness through iGrad (a leading financial education provider).
- Students can earn money by practicing and participating in healthy behaviors and habits — beginning with financial education and expanding to building employability skills, getting involved on campus and prioritizing physical and mental wellness.
- As part of this initiative, the university is working with Fidelity Investments. The Fidelity Bloom for UK Invests app ensures our students are empowered to make deposits in their future investment opportunities that can help them reap a lifetime of benefits for themselves, their families and their communities.
“I love that UK is doing this, because my parents never taught me how to save or invest,” Annika Williams, a recent UK graduate, said. “It has already taught me a lot about life. And one day, I’ll be able to teach my kids about investing.”
Additionally, the first-of-its-kind program sets UK apart from other colleges and universities by teaching real-world situations to demonstrate the benefits of saving and investing early.
Students will build a foundation of financial literacy — allowing them to achieve greater financial security, career readiness and well-being.
“I haven't heard of any other universities doing this,” Magdiel Cotto, a UK junior, said. “I think it shows how advanced UK is by trying to expose students to investing sooner rather than later.”
Starting this semester, each and every student (undergraduate, graduate and professional) will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of financial wellness, practice investing and receive monetary rewards for institution-identified healthy behaviors.
UK Invests by the Numbers:
- Students can earn up to $250 per semester ($500 per academic year) to be deposited into their Fidelity Bloom for UK Invests account.
- Students can earn up to $75 ($15 per online financial literacy assignment; $30 for attending an in-person financial literacy session) in the “Financial Literacy” category.
- Students can earn up to $50 ($10 per event) when they attend a registered event on campus in the “Involvement” category.
- Students can earn up to $75 ($15 per event) for attending peer tutoring, common hour study groups, etc. in the “Employability Skill Building” category.
- Students can earn up to $50 ($10 per event) for working out at a campus recreation facility, attending a mindfulness session, etc. in the “Wellness” category.
The idea is to hard-wire healthy habits as part of the university’s overall approach to wellness.
“It means a lot that UK takes the time to educate students on how to manage money,” Jackson said. “It shows they don't just care about success in the classroom. And I think it's just great that UK is really investing in their students.”
In the first year of the program, UK invested $1 million in our students’ futures — entirely through private and philanthropic support.
More information about UK Invests can be found here.