NMU Center Promotes Financial Literacy

Thursday 5, 2018

April is National Financial Literacy Month, designed to raise awareness about personal finance and the need to educate young people on related topics. Northern Michigan University’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) will coordinate on-campus events and is available to assist K-12 schools in coordinating educational activities. National statistics ranging from student debt load and loan default rates to lack of budgeting, saving or investing for retirement demonstrate the need for increased financial literacy. Most young adults receive little or no such education before they enter the workforce.

Here are some sobering statistics from various sources posted on the National Financial Educators Council website (financialeducatorscouncil.org):

57 percent of college graduates plan to move back in with their parents 62 percent of college graduates expect to leave school with an average $27,236 in student debt 76 percent of college students wish they had more help to prepare for their financial futures 39 percent of American adults have zero non-retirement savings Nearly half of workers had saved less than $50,000 for retirement, and 15 percent had not saved a single cent More than half of adults (56 percent) do not have a budget

Money Smart Week, April 21-28, falls within Financial Literacy Month. Originally created by the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, it is now a nationwide public awareness campaign. Northern’s CEEE will participate by offering in-class presentations to college students addressing four personal finance topics: : budgeting, saving and investing, getting out of financial trouble and credit/credit cards. It will also present a Skill Builders workshop and workshops in some residence halls.

The final campus event will be a “Geocaching for College Cash” competition. Students can participate by scanning a QR code on posters, answering a couple of personal finance questions and providing demographic information to be entered into a national drawing for scholarships. There will also be NMU prizes for first through third place.

Northern’s CEEE is also encouraging area high school teachers to register their classes for a similar competition, a video game titled “Money Smart Cache!” The CEEE can help promote the activity and arrange complementary personal finance presentations from banks and credit unions.

A poster competition that addresses a particular economic concept is planned for elementary and middle school students. Students can submit their drawings with their contact information. Winning images will be featured on an online academic-year calendar that will be available to download and print.

For more information on participating in these activities, obtaining personal finance resources or getting ideas for other games and activities, contact the NMU Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at ceee@nmu.edu, 227-1218 or nmu.edu/ceee.

Kristi Evans
News Director