Why is providing a financial education important? There are numerous benefits of financial education in schools, such as introducing positive financial habits at an impressionable time, preparing students for the workforce or part-time work in college and endowing students with vital expertise that can guide their financial decisions throughout life. The benefits of financial education in schools, however, appear to fall on deaf ears of public policy makers. Today, only a handful of states require a high school course in economics and even fewer make teaching financial education topics mandatory.
If we are considering diverting money that could have funded STEM programs towards building financial education programs within our schools, how can we be so sure that financial literacy is beneficial to our students? The public policy maker or concerned community citizen asking themselves this question can assuage their doubts by examining the academic literature that time and time again has proved the benefits of financial literacy. A reduction in the constitution of poor financial habits and the formation of better habits has been observed repeatedly.
The Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO) conveyed that participants become more invested in learning when they can connect the skills they are being taught in class to some real-world usage in the short-term (Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations). http://www.coheao.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/COHEAO-Whitepaper-Financial-Literacy-on-Campus-.pdf
The Canadian Task Force for Financial Literacy stressed that the program must have a framework in place to provide accountability and improve program outcomes. (Canadian Task Force for Financial Literacy). http://publications.gc.ca
“Financial literacy is just as important in life as the other basics.” – John W. Rogers, Jr., CEO Ariel Capital Management
65% of adults in the United States report using a saving account (National Foundation for Credit Counseling). https://www.nfcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NFCC_BECU_2017-FLS_datasheet-with-key-findings.pdf
15% of adults roll over $2,500 or more in credit card debt each month (National Foundation for Credit Counseling). https://www.nfcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NFCC_BECU_2017-FLS_datasheet-with-key-findings.pdf
44% of Americans aged 22-26 do their own taxes (Bank of America). https://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/BOA_BMH_2016-REPORT-v5.pdf