Financial Literacy

An editorial I wrote entitled, “Financial Literacy Matters” recently appeared in the “As I See It” column of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The goal of the editorial was to highlight the importance of educating all college students, including liberal arts students, in key business and interpersonal skills, as well as in personal financial management. Ultimately, money matters and lifelong financial literacy and skills should be the responsibility of all colleges and universities, regardless of the degrees that they offer.

In addition, all students need to learn to manage their finances, including federal and private loans and credit card debt, sooner rather than later. A recent Telegram & Gazette article, entitled “Financial illiteracy plagues college students,” notes that the current delinquency rate of student loans now surpasses the once “serious delinquency” rate of credit cards. In fact, the National Association of College and Business Officers states that as many as 10 percent of student loans are delinquent by at least 90 days.

Fortunately, Nichols prepares students for financial literacy in a number of ways, including through our senior year Professional Development Seminar (PDS) which addresses topics ranging from credit scores to debt management to the importance of investing for retirement. Students may also take an elective course, “Financial Planning” which addresses money management, investing basics, consumer debt and retirement/estate planning.

Facilitating a student’s transition into the workplace is another area that colleges should address, regardless of the degree program. Ultimately, all students will need to transition from college to work–whether it’s working for a nonprofit organization, personal business or a for-profit business.

Nichols continues to provide even more opportunities for our students to gain a thorough understanding of the workplace through hands-on class projects, field trips, internships, and a number of other options. We will continue to work on enhancing these opportunities with the goal of developing self-sufficient and financially prepared students ready to enter the workforce with confidence.

For the complete text, click here: Financial Literacy Matters.