March 6, 2013 | By: Melissa Patrick

UK’s first financial simulation program, It’s Your Reality, will be from 2 p.m. March 20 in the Student Center Grand Ballroom.

All UK students interested in learning how to merge their future lifestyle needs with their post-graduate salaries should attend this free event which also includes a complimentary lunch.

Sponsored by the UK Cooperative Extension Service’s Managing in Tough Times Initiative, It’s Your Reality will host 22 booths with experts who represent the majority of financial responsibilities graduates encounter. 

“It’s Your Reality allows students to experience the big picture of life and how expensive it can be to provide for all of your necessities,” said Katie Keith, UK Cooperative Extension associate in family finance and event organizer.

Most students think their starting salary will be between $50,000 and $75,000, but this is rarely the case, Keith said. 

Upon arrival, students will receive the current average starting monthly salary for someone who graduates with their major. Students will then “spend” their monthly income by selecting the lifestyle items they hope to have after college. Experts will be on hand to help in the decision making process. Options include student loans, credit card debt, transportation needs, housing, food, entertainment, utilities as well as many other lifestyle choices. 

“We are excited to bring this opportunity to campus to help students answer the important financial questions after graduation,” said Jennifer Hunter, UK assistant extension professor in family finance. “Students want to know what my starting salary is likely to be?  How will student loans affect my monthly budget?  How will credit card debt affect my future financial situation?  What are realistic expectations of what it costs to live?”

“It’s Your Reality will allow students to make the connection between education and post education financial management,” said Keith.

Two participants will receive one of the event’s grand prizes, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones or a Kindle Fire, through a randomly generated drawing. Door prizes and free T-shirts will also be offered in limited quantity.


Katie Keith, 859-257-2097