Should schools teach Financial Literacy?
Created by: Sam Tenney
It’s no secret that the US has a student debt problem. Most US college graduates leave college owing $29,800 in debt on average and this is an almost 50% increase from just 10 years ago. One solution may be teaching financial literacy to college and high school students. One viewpoint is that including a personal finance course requirement would promote better savings and loan management amongst graduates moving into the workforce. Students would be more conscious of where they could cut costs and save, and some statistics show it could even improve graduation rates!
Recently both Iowa and Kentucky passed laws requiring half a semester of financial literacy courses be taken by high school students in order to graduate. These laws take effect in 2020 and 2025 respectively. The reception has been positive by teachers and students alike. One teacher, Lexi Schaffer in Iowa said, “I think it is so important to teach high schoolers good financial literacy skills now so that they can really start creating those good habits early on that will take them into their adulthood.”
A study by the Champlain’s Financial College Center found “Students who learn personal finance from these trained teachers showed significant knowledge gains in all test topics, while a control group of students who did not receive personal finance education dropped slightly in knowledge in all but one area.”
Students who take a financial literacy course are also better prepared to face the real world with savings, and save more. according to a survey conducted by Ramsey Research in 2016. Nearly two out of three high school students who had taken a personal finance course reported they were already earning an average of $3,000 a year.  Furthermore Nearly 80% said they understand what a 401(k) is and how it works, compared to just 63% of students who had not taken such a course.
Fidelis Wealth Advisors believes in developing a deep relationship with our clients, and teaching them the financial principals that will enhance their lives and help them achieve their goals, starting with our youngest investors. With financial planning being such an important part of everyday life the impact of 17% more students understanding how to properly save and budget sets these students up for a much brighter future.
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