While students can major in hundreds of fields, very few take courses in financial literacy if only because they are hard, if not often impossible, to find. Today, many college students take out student loans, sign promissory notes and incur five- and six-figure debt with no idea about what they're signing for.
In an effort to change that, The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) is ramping up its efforts to educate Americans, with a focus on Millennials, to initiate college bound students into the basics of managing their money responsibly.
Established in 2003, FLEC is chaired by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury's office and has rolled out the MyMoney.gov website aimed at developing a national strategy on financial education.
In a statement on Friday, Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and FLEC's co-chair, announced the release of the 2016 National Strategy for Financial Literacy, a report providing a framework for promoting financial education.
"A critical component of the national strategy was the FLEC's launch of the effort we called 'Starting Early for Financial Success,'" he said, "which is enhancing the financial capability of young Americans. The Consumer Bureau is advancing this shared effort through several initiatives that involve parents, educators, financial aid practitioners, and youth employment programs."
Cordray acknowledged that these are uncharted waters not only for parents and students but teachers--many teachers don't feel ready to provide this kind of instruction. To augment its efforts, the CFPB has developed the "personal finance pedagogy," with a teaching tool it calls the "personal finance wheel," identifying teaching techniques and learning strategies.