One in 10 college students think credit cards are free money, and 14% say they’d rather miss a credit card payment than a party, according to a recent survey of college students by Wallethub, a financial advising website.
“Schools aren’t teaching money management, at least not nearly enough, and many parents are actually more comfortable talking about sex than money,” Wallethub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou told DiverseEducation.com.
The survey also found that 10% of students said their parents wouldn’t approve of their credit card spending; 30% graded their financial knowledge with a C or less, and five times more female students than male students gave themselves an F on financial knowledge.
But many colleges and universities are taking steps to improve their students’ financial literacy. For instance, Norfolk State University in Virginia just teamed up with Suntrust Bank to offer students advice about personal finance topics, according to a report by WAVY-TV. And Tougaloo College in Mississippi just began partnering with Trustmark to provide an interactive learning platform designed to introduce financial literacy skills to students, reports WLBT-TV.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers free programs such as Student Money Management and UBT Lunch and Learn events focused on financial literacy, according to a report by the Daily Nebraskan. “For a lot of students, this is their first exposure to finances,” Nicole Sweigard, vice president of business development at UNL, told the paper.
Meanwhile, many colleges are finding creative ways to engage students in financial literacy activities, UB reported last year. At Champlain College in Vermont, for example, students participate in a game that simulates financial decisions they will make after graduation. Each student is assigned a salary based on their major and then turned loose in a room full of options—booths that offer apartments, homes, groceries, insurance, transportation and other essentials.
Many states are taking steps to improve students’ financial literacy as well. Financial literacy courses are increasingly being offered in high schools, and beginning this fall a financial literacy course will be a graduation requirement in Arizona high schools, according to a report in the Peoria Times.