SIS should educate students on financial literacy. Here’s Why.

Jennifer Kwon, Copy Editor

I am pretty sure that there was a moment in every high schooler’s life where they asked themselves, “Will    I ever actually use this knowledge after I graduate?” 

After graduating, I am sure no one would have to know the anatomy of a cow’s eye or the numerical value of e to solve a math problem off the top of their heads. But what I do know for sure is that they need to know how to spend money wisely. 

This is why proper education on financial literacy for students is essential from a young age. 

Establishing a basic foundation of fiscal management will allow students to develop habits to tactically budget, save, invest, give, and donate. It also lays a foundation for students to build money habits early on and avoid mistakes that lead to lifelong financial struggles. 

However, the current education system does not provide students with the resources necessary to achieve those aims. 

The standard high school system is designed to develop students’ knowledge on a wide range of subjects, so why should financial literacy education be excluded from the curriculum? 

If schools wish to ensure a bright, stable future for students, they should incorporate money management skills into the school system. 

In fact, according to the New York Times, New Jersey has made it a state requirement in 2020 for all public middle and high schools to take at least one ‘Financial Literacy Instruction’ class. By partnering with local non-profit organizations, schools in New Jersey aimed to teach students the financial skills needed to help them reduce or eliminate debt in the future.

By doing this, participants like Olivia Raymond were able to lower her family’s energy, gas, and water bill by $500 per month through making small lifestyle changes she learned from mandated courses.

To this end, the counseling team at SIS can delve deeper into real-world applications on financial literacy. Even though school counselors may not be experts in this field, providing such lessons based on life experiences achieves the ultimate aim of educating the fiscally astute. 

If this is not possible, students can take this issue into their own hands by engendering clubs. Doing this opens up more doors for many SIS highschoolers to learn about money management skills. 

In fact, SIS has already taken a step in the right direction by allowing students to create the Financial Investment Club (FIC). 

“We were able to bring in an expert in the investing field to possibly start giving students the opportunity to learn about the basics of investing,” Taejoo Lee (11), co-founder of FIC, said. “By doing this, we could hopefully encourage more students to dive into learning more about financing.” 

Another great way to incorporate “money-talk” is by holding seminar meetings that openly discuss means to develop fiscal habits akin to Mr. Rock’s “Let’s Talk” seminar meeting. Having open discussions with people invested in learning more about the financial world can be a step toward effectively managing money. 

Though the school may not have taught us about financing, the school can incorporate potential activities to help students expand their financial capabilities at a young age. 

Afterall, senior advisor for financial education Morrison says that teaching financial education as soon as children are school age is the ideal moment to begin. And by our current standards, that means we are falling behind.