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For Immediate Release
Monday, May 20, 2013

MPA student, Troy library help students prepare for college finances
     Rochester, Mich. – A competitive grant written by an Oakland University master of public administration student will allow the Troy Public Library to provide high school graduates and their parents practical and innovative financial education for college and beyond.

     Graduate student Rachael Williams spearheaded an effort to secure a $65,175 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association as part of Smart investing@your library – a nationwide program that provides library patrons with access to effective and unbiased financial education resources.

Rachael Williams
     The project will offer 19 seminars covering a variety of topics, including budgeting and personal banking, paying for college, navigating the financial aid process, investment considerations, appropriate use of credit and managing debt after graduation. Sessions will also emphasize the role of parents in helping students develop good financial habits.

     Representatives from Oakland University, Wayne State University, Walsh College and GreenPath Debt Solutions will conduct the sessions, which will also be available online for anyone interested in learning about the topics.

      "I think this is a marvelous opportunity to showcase what a public library can do for its community and to broaden the definition of 'library,' said Cathleen Russ, director of the Troy Public Library.

     Williams, who is just a few credits shy of completing her MPA program, initiated the project about a year ago after being hired by the Troy Public Library. Using the educational foundation that OU's MPA program provided, she worked with Russ to find innovative ways to use the library's resources to support the community. This, in turn, springboarded to a rewarding career with the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.

     "My education has taught me a lot about time management, people management, budgeting, policy and fundraising." Williams said. "It has definitely given me a lot of stepping stones to launch my career."

     The Smart investing@your library seminars will run from September 2013 through June 2014 at the Troy Public Library and at three area high schools. Prospective college students and parents seeking more information should contact the Library at (248) 524-3538.

     Those interested in learning more about Oakland's MPA program are encouraged to view the website at

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 125 graduate degree and certificate programs. Dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the Web at