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High School Students Graduate from Finance Academy

[Monday, July 14th, 2014]

Amid recent concern about young people and basic financial literacy, over 100 young people have graduated from an online financial education course designed by Higher One Financial Academy.

Students at Katella High School in California had the opportunity to enroll in the Higher One course at no cost to either them or their school. The finance academy, produced in partnership with EverFi, Inc., an education technology company, offered units of study on subjects like credit cards, student loans and taxes. Learning tools like simulations, avatars and gaming helped make the program engaging for young people.

U.S. students score low on financial savvy

In Higher One’s recent study of 65,000 college freshmen, they found that students who had been exposed to financial literacy education in high school were significantly more knowledgeable than their peers about things like how student loans work and how to use credit cards without going into debt. Overall, first-year college students showed an alarming lack of knowledge about things like how much savings to have on hand for emergency, how interest rates impact loans, and how much money to put away for retirement.

Higher One provides financial services and data analysis to nearly 2,000 higher-learning institutions across the country. They are offering the Higher One Financial Academy to California schools first, but plan to eventually bring it to over 5,000 students nationwide.

Sal Glorioso, a business teacher at Katella High School, said his students enjoyed the academy – especially the fact that it was offered online. “The games and simulations allow them to learn at their own pace, and the lessons really enhance our classroom discussions,” he said.

Student credit cards a good first step for college kids

Perhaps the best way to learn about credit cards is to have one and actually use it. Many major credit card issuers offer student credit cards with minimal fees, small lines of credit, low APRs and even rewards programs.

A student credit card with a low limit gives young people the chance to learn to use credit cards responsibly without the worry of going deeply into debt. Parents can monitor their college freshmen’s financial activity online and encourage them to pay off their cards in full each month.

Thanks to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act), students under the age of 21 generally must have a co-signer in order to be approved for a credit card, and credit card companies now have strict rules about how they can market products to students.

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