Money Matters: Why Financial Literacy Counts in High School

Five words or less (NewsUSA) - Alongside English and math, high school students need more classes in financial literacy and managing their money. It's never too early to start learning how to manage finances. Otherwise, teens embark on the college journey without knowing how to avoid debt, opt out of high interest rates or dodge exorbitant fees. Some students actually expect to face these types of financial hurdles because they don't know any other way. "We need to ensure students entering college are given the right financial literacy education, tools and support to make sound financial decisions while in college and beyond," said Mary Johnson, Director, Financial Literacy and Student Aid Policy at Higher One. Higher One is a financial resource that offers banking options designed exclusively for college students. Since the company works solely with students, aid experts like Johnson have firsthand knowledge of student finances. Higher One has an even deeper level of insight as a result of their recently sponsored study called "Money Matters On Campus," which details common behaviors and attitudes about students and money management. "Money Matters is unique because it offers specific student attitudes and behaviors on which educators and policy makers must focus and address. This report sounds the alarm that institutions must augment current financial literacy education," Johnson added. According to the survey of 40,000 first-year college students, 28.2 percent have a credit card, and 23.7 percent have more than $1,000 in debt. While it's not surprising that more than 79 percent of students surveyed worry about debt, some other spending behaviors are alarming. Such as, 60 percent find it okay to incur an overdraft fee if they can pay it off later. To correct these bad money habits, Higher One has partnered with educational technology company Ever Fi -- who also sponsored the survey -- to assess financial literacy in high school students. In 50 select schools across several states, the Higher One Financial Academy offers a web-based learning platform that will teach principles about saving, credit cards, interest rates, credit scores, taxes, insurance, investing and beyond. Higher One provides refund disbursement, payment and data analytics services to more than 1,600 colleges nationwide. For incoming freshmen and other students attending these schools who are looking to open their first bank account, Higher One offers the perfect starter account via its bank partners that is tailored to students. As a result, accounts are transparent regarding fees and charges, and they use an educational approach that allows students to learn the ropes. Learn more about the accounts at