Leave it to one of the most expensive colleges in America to provide its students the option to take a course in Personal Finance 101.
George Washington University here in Washington D.C. is offering “a series of financial literacy workshops for seniors, covering such topics as loan repayment and consolidation, spending, credit cards, taxes and benefits.” The school understands that students should be prepared for the “real world” when they leave college, but I’m wondering if it’s just a bit too late.
High school and college seniors tend to be a proud, cocky bunch. They think they know it all and don’t listen well to advice, orders, or pleadings. Trust me, I was one, and everyone is just like me.
I agree with Flexo from ConsumerismCommentary.com in his recent article asking “Should high schools require money management classes?“. Teachers ARE NOT parental substitutes. That is not a bash on teachers, but rather on parents. I’m not a parent myself, but I have parents, my friends have parents, and those snotty little brats running around with iPods and complaining about needing more money have parents too. It’s up to parents to raise their children with the right values from day one. Your child should be using online banking by age 1, have their first IRA open by age 2, and be ready to retire by age 5!
In all seriousness, I’m personally afraid that I’ll be lazy with our own child and fail to get them to understand the true value of money. Parents are the primary teachers for their children, and they have a lot of control over their child’s inputs up until preschool.
School-age children begin interacting with children from all different backgrounds, and may or may not have parents who know about or care about teaching the value of money to their own children. However, if you’ve used those crucial early years to instill the proper values in your child, then they’ll be much stronger in their battle against consumerism.
I applaud GWU’s efforts at educating its seniors in the value of money, but I think those classes would be more effective if they were taught in freshman year and include the parents. However, is that even too late to make a difference?