Financial literacy is an important and necessary life skill.
“In research that we have done and funded for the last several years, we’ve looked at its ability to increase confidence and help students make positive decisions,” said Billy J. Hensley, Ph.D., President and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education. “They have lower credit card balances, for example. That’s very clear in the data. Most specifically, we’re seeing better borrowing for higher education.”
Exposure to financial education increases applications for aid by 3.5% and increases the likelihood of having a grant by 1.4%.
“The way that we think to do this right, specifically for young people, is competency-based,” said Hensley. “They practice these scenarios. They put together plans. We need to make sure the teachers are well-prepared, that things are relevant and timely for the students, that they can apply what they’re learning. Then we’re evaluating for impact.”
If your kids don’t know the basics, you can find curriculum to suggest to your school.
“NEFE, our organization provides a financial education program for youths that are free,” said Hensley. “Look into those. Start small. Try to do some lessons at home, but I would encourage everyone to advocate at their local school and make the case for why this is important and why it
should be offered.”
Check with your school to see what is offered and if they don’t have an offering, they can find one at nefe.org/education.