New UK Invests program incentivizes student wellness and financial education


Lindsey Davis, Asst. News Editor

On Monday morning, University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto sent an email introducing UK Invests, “a first-of-its-kind initiative to enhance student wellness.”

Capilouto said that UK Invests is “a program that will help our students develop a deeper understanding of the value of investing in themselves, in part, fueled by investments we make in them.”

The ultimate goal of the initiative is financial education and for every student on campus to receive a personal account to invest in, the email said.

There will also be smaller incentives linked to a reward-style program centered around healthy habits including “financial education, wellness visits and going to the gym,” which are meant to “hardwire” good habits, Capilouto said.

The university is partnering with iGrad, a financial literacy program, to create online content for financial education courses, which student-athletes will start taking this month.

Due to a change in NCAA rules, these students will be given awards for their academic achievements in addition to their scholarships.

In October, after the completion of the financial education sessions, student-athletes will have the chance to open up personal investment accounts.

“UK’s student-athletes represent a compelling test cohort for this initiative as they mirror our student body in important ways; for example, the number of them who are first-generation college students,” Capilouto said.

Later in the fall semester, the university will offer the courses to other groups of students, then to prospective students in the spring.

By fall 2023, all students will be given the opportunity to create their own personal investment accounts that can be matched in small increments by UK as students take part in the healthy behaviors listed in the incentive program.

UK hopes to pilot the program with employees as well.

The university is also partnering with Fidelity Investments to develop an investing app customized for UK – the Bloom UK Invests app – “that can help them reap a lifetime of benefits for themselves, their families and their communities,” Capilouto said.