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Students seek financial careers 
By Staff Reports 

CULLOWHEE - Financial planning has been rated as the "best job" in the nation, and thatís just fine with students enrolled in Western Carolina Universityís financial planning program.

The "Jobs Rated Almanac 2001," by Les Krantz, listed financial planning as the No. 1 occupation based on work environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, security and stress.

About 35 WCU students are enrolled in the financial planning concentration of the universityís finance major. Western Carolina is the only public university in the state that offers the degree, said Grace Allen, WCU associate professor of finance.

Westernís financial planning program became registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in 1998, which allows graduates of the WCU program to take the 10-hour, two-day Certified Financial Planner examination. After passing that examination and accumulating three years of financial planning experience, financial planners can become Certified Financial Planner licensees, Allen said.

The students are vying for a chance to compete at the American Express Planning Invitational 2001, an event that will bring together the best student financial planners from around the country for two days of contests in Minneapolis, Minn. Last year, a team of WCU students was among six college teams in the nation that earned a right to participate in the event, held in New York City. The Western students walked away with the overall third-place prize.

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