Kudos to WSJ for asking the question and getting opposing viewpoints on the answer to the question. I am having trouble containing myself so I thought I better get my thoughts down on paper before I explode. First, the newspaper is asking the wrong question. The right question is “Should High School Students Be Required to Take A Personal Finance Course?” College is too late. The biggest financial decision that young people make occurs BEFORE college. Those decisions are “where are they going to continue their education?” and “how are they going to pay for it.” I received way too many calls in my days at Student Lending Analytics from sobbing students and their parents about their predicament of high debt and “I am only a junior.” As we know student debt has a long tail to it and has ramifications far into the future. It is that much harder to course correct several years into one’s college career.
I meant to strike while the iron was hot, while this NY Times article, I’m 29 and I never learned how money works. It’s time to fix that., was all over my social media feed in mid-October. Whelp — It’s 7 weeks later, and here I am. Better late than never I suppose (that’s why Tim is the master blogger around NGPF, not me).
I like that the article exists, but I don’t like the idea of just giving it to my (hypothetical) students to read. It covers FAR too many topics in too much detail to be a concentrated “intro to personal finance,” and it seems silly to have your students read and take notes on it if they’ve never learned any of this stuff before (how will they even know what is “important?) or if they’ve learned it all before (why are they taking notes if they already know all this?). So, what would picky Jessica do with this awesome article? Here are a few of my ideas:
- Pull out the questions (sometimes they have follow-up questions embedded), and use it as a pre-test at the beginning of the term and a post-test at the end. Of
I received an email from a personal finance curriculum in my inbox this morning (nothing unusual here, I get a lot of them:). The provider was encouraging their educators to update their curriculum since they had heard some were still using their 2001 edition (Remember Friends? That was the top TV show in 2001). Yikes! Quick digression, ok, let’s call it a commercial: Since NGPF makes all of its content available online, we make real-time updates when circumstances change, such as when the FAFSA becomes available three months earlier.
I thought it would be interesting to think about how the financial services industry has changed since 2001. In other words, what are students missing if they are being taught from a 2001 edition?
- How we bank:
- Even as late as 2002, mobile banking was being defined as “making a transaction by calling a call center using a mobile device (Mobile Banking Systems and Technologies paper). How quaint!
- Today, 53% of smart phone owners with a bank account used mobile banking services (no longer defined as calling a call center from a mobile phone) based on a Federal Reserve study.
If you have some time over the holidays, I recommend this 39 minute FT podcast (The Psychology Behind What We Do With Our Money) and accompanying paper: The Psychology and Neuroscience of Financial Decision Making. Why is this worth your time? It provides an fascinating summary of the latest experiments being run to help us understand why we make the money decisions that we do.
Here were some of the interesting tidbits (numbers refer to footnotes cited in the paper):
- Gary students to operate urban farm as part of business program (The Washington Times)
GARY, IN. The bleating of a pair of goats has been added to the clucking of hens at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy’s urban farm. Nearly two dozen students at the high school are taking the Entrepreneurship and Personal Finance class, which oversees the farm.
- Improving Financial Literacy for Ontario Students (Ontario)
November is Financial Literacy Month and Ontario is highlighting the various resources and supports provided to students across the province to improve their financial literacy.
- Dwyer (FL) football seniors earn free tailored suits for financial literacy training (USA Today High School Sports)
A Florida-based teen financial literacy program led to a set of free suits for one of the state’s famed high school football programs as part of a partnership that aims to improve the lives of talented young athletes off the field, no matter how successful they may become on it
- Affinity Plus Foundation and Cookie Cart join forces to provide teens personal finance, life skills (CU Insight)
ST. PAUL, MN — Teens will participate in financial literacy workshops as a part
We are honored to be listed as one of the top 4 providers of financial education curricula in this influential NEFE research report. We love being able to serve the educator community with curated, comprehensive, current and customizable resources (and don’t forget about our extensive professional development offerings also).
“A variety of non-profit organizations offer financial education curricula. First, the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) offers the High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP). Second, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) provides a flagship personal finance high school curriculum entitled Financial Fitness for Life (FFFL). The curriculum also includes a nationally normed test instrument that can be used to assess student knowledge. Third, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy 12 (Jump$tart) offers a variety of high school financial education resources via its online clearinghouse. Fourth, Next Generation Personal Finance (NGPF) is a relatively new online site that supplies a curriculum and extensive lesson materials for teachers on major topics in personal finance.”
- Teaching Teens Financial Literacy at Provine High School, MI. (Jackson Free Press):
Students at Provine High School will soon be able to open up accounts with Hope Credit Union right in their own hallway. The project started as a partnership between Provine High School’s Business and Finance Academy and Hope Credit Union. In the program, students participated in workshops, learning about financial literacy, how credit unions work and the importance of saving money from staff at Hope as well as their own teachers who received training from the credit union.
- Former Bankruptcy Judge Teaches Students About Financial Literacy. (Democrat & Chronicle):