Survey Shows Students Lack Personal Finance Skills

The popular company U.S. Bank has published findings from a recent student financial education and personal finance study. The study monitored undergraduate college students and their financial knowledge, experiences, perceptions, and outlook. Students are doing “just okay”, with 65% of students ranking themselves with a grade of C, D, or F when it comes to successfully managing their finances and money. The study did find that parents play an important role in a young adult’s understanding of their personal finances. It is also important that students receive more education in the classroom, so that they are better prepared when entering the adult world.

Teaching personal finances is a solution

Jim Chilton, the founder and President of the Society of Financial Awareness is proposing a solution to the problem of teens and young adults not understanding financial literacy topics, and that is to make them more accessible in high schools. Chilton said he was shocked that his own children were not learning or being offered personal finance courses in school, and so he stepped up to teach them himself. Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy took national data to provide a grade to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, for their efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates. Findings showed that the United States has a long way to go, especially compared to some of the other largest countries in the world. Only five states earned an A, while twenty six states received a C, D, or F. It’s no wonder why so many registration loan companies are popping up throughout the country.

Professional thoughts on a solution

After the national data was looked at, John Pelletier gave his thoughts on a solution. Pelletier is the Director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Chaplain College. Instead of simply throwing all financial literacy at students in high school, the education system should start out when students are young, and progress onto more extensive topics once they hit high school. There should, without a doubt, be classes on student loans available to high school students. These types of classes would help prepare students for life during and after college. Pelletier also believes that topics of budgeting and planning should be a requirement of graduating high school students. Once they learn these skills, they can move on to more advanced topics in college, such as credit, credit scores, employee benefits, and retirement savings. Overall, students should be learning the basics of personal finance, so that they have the tools they need to develop their knowledge in the future.

States working hard to achieve these goals

Many states are working very hard to increase the finance literacy skills of high school students. A ranking of the top 100 schools, which offer financing courses is available here. The state of Virginia is doing a wonderful job in making sure high school students have the option to take a financial literacy course and is now actually required, as one credit for graduation.

The United States as a whole still needs to work harder to provide students with financial literacy courses so that they can compete globally. With more studies coming out, which provide statistics to show the nation is doing poorly, maybe the education system in the United States will take action in requiring financial courses to be taught in schools.