By Leslie Sutton, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Discover
April’s designation as national financial literacy month is significant because it brings necessary attention to the fact that so many Americans today lack the training to manage their personal finances effectively. Discover is committed to addressing that and has been working with CEE to help students.
Our financial education program, Pathway to Financial Success, has helped bring related curriculum into more than 200 schools public high schools across the country since 2012. But more remains to be done. In two months, many students will be graduating. The question is: Are they prepared? Do they have the skills necessary to succeed?
Discover commissioned a national survey of 1,200 high school seniors to assess the financial knowledge and outlook of today’s high school seniors as they prepare for life after graduation. What we learned was certainly intriguing and concerning: Nearly all students said they will be responsible for some or all expenses after graduation, yet only about half actually budget and one-third said they have already encountered financial issues. What was encouraging about the survey results was that they shared that financial education can make a difference. High school seniors who took a personal finance class were more likely to save, invest and budget compared to their peers who did not take a similar course. High school seniors believe financial education is important to their future success, ranking personal finance as the most important subject tied with math.
To more fully understand how students feel that financial education, or a lack thereof, affects their futures, I’d encourage you to take a look at the survey results on the blog.
They want financial education and believe it is key to their success. It’s up to all of us to provide it and give them the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their personal finances. Parents and teachers can become part of the solution by using the tools on the website to better learn how to kick start educating teens about personal finance, or how to involve your school in teaching financial education.
It’s national financial literacy month— a perfect time to start educating teens and helping them become more financially confident and knowledgeable so they are prepared for life after high school.
Leslie Sutton is Vice President of Corporate Communications at Discover. She led the effort to create Discover’s Pathway to Financial Success program, which is a program dedicated to getting financial education into thousands of classrooms across the country so students can achieve brighter financial futures.