College

Seven Things Every College Student Should Know About Personal Finance

Christian Ackmann 218x300 Seven Things Every College Student Should Know About Personal FinanceBy Christian Ackmann, Economics concentrator at Brown University; Winner of the 2012 National Personal Finance Challenge.

You would be surprised to know the number of college students who don’t know how build their credit history, view their account balances, or even write a check.  College is usually the first time that students acquire independence, yet some students remain dependent on their parents’ financial support and advice.  Proper financial education in high school is necessary to gain financial independence in college.  During my first year of college, I have seen many financial mistakes made by my fellow students.  Here are some of the things I believe every college student should know about personal finance to make intelligent financial decisions.

1.  Credit
When I asked my fellow classmates which financial topics they wished they knew more about, the unanimous answer was credit.  For many college students, credit cards are a thing of mystery.  They are magical pieces of plastic that somehow pay for pizza and gasoline using money from their parents.  The first step to establishing a solid credit history is understanding how credit works.  Once students understand the importance of credit, it can be very helpful to have a credit card in the student’s name (not the parent’s name) to encourage responsibility.  Paying the credit card bill in full each month is an easy way to build a good credit history, not to mention the perks that many cards offer, such as cash back or air miles (which are especially applicable to college students living away from home). Read more…

POSTED: April 20, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Financial Literacy: Preparing for Independence

By Max Isenberg, student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Education comes in all sorts of forms. In college, your main duty is to learn, be it in the classroom, through extra-curricular activities, or while hanging out with your friends. As a student, however, I have noticed things I never realized I needed to know. Living independently involves a lot of learning on the fly about what your parents once handled for you. Laundry, for example, was this nebulous process in which my mom turned my dirty, worn clothes into fresh clean ones; only when I had to run my first load in my dorm could I appreciate the nuances of the task. Read more…

POSTED: April 5, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

Early Education in Personal Finance Will Thwart Student Loan Crises

With each new report, statistic and news story, it is apparent today’s students are graduating college with an alarming amount of student debt.  The latest data from the Department of Education shows ninety-four percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree are borrowing to pay for it, up from 45 percent in 1993.

This article in The New York Times features recent grads and current higher-ed students who are, surprisingly, not prepared to pay back their loans.  As 18-year-old Kelsey Griffith, who is graduating from Ohio Northern University with $120,000 in student debt, said, “I knew a private school would cost a lot of money. But when I graduate, I’m going to owe like $900 a month. No one told me that.”

As Kelsey clearly states, she had no personal finance education to explain  the real cost of college.  As higher education institutions increase marketing and recruiting tactics, students are left to their own devices to cover the bills.

Not only is personal finance education critical for our youth when it comes to their own finances, but we cannot afford to raise another generation that does not fully understand the complexities of our global economy. The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. CEE’s 2011 Survey of the States shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first Survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backwards. Such ignorance comes with a high price—for all of us.

It is critically important to educate students on economics and personal finance, and if requirements are passed, schools must provide these important classes about the real world issues that students face—before it is too late.

POSTED: May 14, 2012 | BY: nan | TAGS: , , , , , ,

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