PwC Hits the Books, Educates Youth on Financial Literacy

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With college graduation nearing, an estimated 24% of students wrongly assume their student loan debt will be forgiven, according to a recent Junior Achievement study. This train wreck waiting to happen may have been averted if these soon-to-be-college grads had learned about financial literacy at a much younger age.

At least that is one of the goals of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which runs a financial literacy program aimed at youth called "Earn Your Future." TheStreet.com's Rhonda Schaffler spoke with Shannon Schuyler, corporate responsibility leader at PwC, regarding the program and its goals.

"Everyone wants financial literacy to be taught in the schools, but less than 20% of teachers are comfortable with the subject," Schuyler said. And while 17 states require financial literacy to be taught to high school students before they graduate, the curriculum used is widely varied, she noted.

PwC's program, founded in 2012 and funded with $190 million, has a goal to expose 2.5 million students to financial literacy over a five-year period. 

But there are roadblocks to bringing financial literacy to the nation's youth. For starters, parents often don't want to talk about the topic with their children and assume they'll figure it out on their own. And secondly, in the school system, teachers are not only largely reluctant to cover the material but also make the time to address the subject matter. 

Ultimately, PwC is aiming for today's youth to learn financial literacy to become productive citizens who can make financially responsible decisions and contribute to a healthier economy.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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