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What About Financial Education in College?

More good news on the financial education front! The Council of Graduate Schools is pushing for universities nationwide to step up when it comes to financial education for students. Fifteen institutions are taking part in a 3-year project to “enhance the financial literacy of graduate and undergraduate students.”

This project is coming just in time. Student loan debt is surpassing $1 trillion, and many students have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.

Sonya Britt, an associate professor of family studies and human services at Kansas State College of Human Ecology, says,

“Most of the students who enter college don’t get financial literacy courses when they’re in high school, so many students aren’t familiar with basic money management skills such as making payments and the awareness of how fast credit card debt accumulates. There’s a lot of need but not a lot of resources for college students.”

The Oregonian recently reported on Portland State University’s requirement for some business students to take a personal finance class, with positive results:

Many in the class said developing a plan gave them confidence about their future.

“I just learned how to write a check 3 months ago,” said Jaclyn Humphry, a freshman. “I really want to be financially stable in my life, because my family wasn’t. I love this class.”

With resounding endorsements like this, let’s hope that personal finance is a requirement for universities nationwide soon.

But Britt makes a great point about the fact that many students aren’t prepared to manage their money when they get to college. Only 17 states in the U.S. include personal finance as a high school graduation requirement, which means that lots of students aren’t getting the financial education necessary to survive as adults after they graduate from high school.

When you consider the fact that college enrollment rates for high school graduates are declining and that many universities don’t have personal finance requirements for bachelor degrees, that adds up to a lot of young adults going without important financial literacy skills.

This is why we believe that high school is the best place to teach young adults financial education. It’s the best time to teach as many young adults as possible, and it prepares students for those big financial decisions before they have to make them. Our Student Program partners agree, which is why they step up to sponsor personal finance materials for their communities. And a 100% approval rating from teachers can’t be wrong! So what are you waiting for?

By Fatemeh Fakhraie, This post originally appeared on brassmedia.com

Fakhraie, Fatemeh. "What About Financial Education in College?" Brass Media. N.p., 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. <http://www.brassmedia.com/financial-education-in-college/>. 

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