For Junior Achievement of Lincoln, every month is really financial literacy month. But April is national Financial Literacy Month, and we take the opportunity to have even more conversations about the importance of understanding our finances, and helping kids and teens to do the same. When it comes to teens and their families, almost no financial topic is as important as figuring out how to pay for college. According to a new study that we wanted to share with you, that topic is more important than ever.
A new survey of 1,000 teens by Junior Achievement USA and Voya Foundation shows that nearly two-thirds of teens, or 65 percent, believe borrowers are ultimately responsible for paying off their student loans, even if they borrowed more money than they are able to pay off, while 11 percent believe the government should do so. Fewer, 7 percent, believe it is the responsibility of the college and 5 percent think it’s up to the lender to resolve.
According to JA President Tera Norris, “What this survey shows is that today’s teens need information on how to make informed choices on choosing the best higher education avenue for them and how to pay for it. This is why it’s so critical that our young people have the kinds of financial literacy programs JA offers free to schools in our community.”
A four-year college education is the second largest investment many people will make in their lifetimes, and yet decisions to take on student debt are often made by 17 and 18 year olds who have received little to no financial literacy education. This can result in students assuming more debt than they are able to pay off with their expected future income.
The survey also found that 89 percent of teens who responded expect to attend college. Of those, 40 percent expect help in the form of scholarships and grants; 21 percent believe they will receive financial support from their parents and family members; 17 percent plan to work to earn money for college; and approximately 11 percent anticipate taking on student loans to help pay for their higher education.
At JA of Lincoln, our mission is to empower students to own their economic success through financial literacy. When it comes to making decisions about college and college debt, knowledge truly is power. To check out how JA’s high school level curriculum gives students that power, go here.
Thank you for helping JA of Lincoln make every month Financial Literacy Month!