The students and families your work with each day may vary greatly in their knowledge of financial topics and skills related to financial literacy, based on their different life experiences and backgrounds. While you see the impact firsthand every day, this article summarizes why financial literacy is so important. As you help students access funds to pay for higher education, you’re also in the perfect position to introduce them to resources that help them gain skills in building and using credit, budgeting, saving, borrowing, managing money, and more.
What Are the Components of Financial Literacy?
There are several fundamental components and skills that help an individual effectively manage their finances. According to a Corporate Finance Institute blog, they are:
- Personal financial management.
While all of these areas of financial literacy are important, the students and families you encounter may be most interested in scholarships, federal work-study, grants, and loans that are available to help pay for the cost of college. By encouraging students to borrow only what they need and manage their money wisely during college, you’re helping to develop or reinforce important financial literacy concepts. You’ll also get questions about the impact of financial aid on taxes – some of which you’ll be able to answer and others you’ll refer to a tax specialist. You’re an important part of your students’ financial literacy journey.
4 Resources to Support and Reinforce Financial Literacy
Here are four ways you can help build financial literacy knowledge and skills with the students and families you serve.
- Encourage students and families to use resources provided by Federal Student Aid (FSA) and follow their social channels. In addition to providing useful information about student loans and federal financial aid, FSA creates content about financial literacy topics such as budgeting and avoiding student aid scams on their website – and they share helpful posts, infographics, and videos on their Facebook channel.
- Explore Jump$tart Clearinghouse, which provides a free online library of financial education resources for teachers, parents, caregivers, and anyone interested in helping students gain financial knowledge.
- Encourage students to use Jump$tart’s Reality Check, an interactive calculator that takes hypothetical life choices students fill in to help them see if their chosen career path will help them afford their dream life.
- Share FSA’s helpful guide, Federal Student Loans: Repaying Your Loans, with your students who are heading into repayment soon.
Share Your Ideas for Supporting Financial Literacy
We hope these tips and resources are useful. Our team would love to know how your office supports financial literacy. Feel free to share your ideas with us on LinkedIn.