September 16, 2018

English literature. Statistics. Quantum physics. College teaches some of the most fascinating and challenging subjects out there. And that's what it's meant to do - arm students with success for the future, giving them the academic skills they need to enter the workforce and their careers with confidence.

But what about the more basic, fundamental skills students need to survive and thrive in the real world? Like knowing how to balance a checkbook or figuring out how to battle that large avalanche of student debt?

Many times, these topics are neglected in college curriculums, or they're presented timidly if presented at all. Coincidentally, financial literacy is perhaps one of the single most critical skills needed to ensure future success. Because in the end making a ton of money doesn't do much good if people don't know how to budget those hard-earned dollars.

To bridge the knowledge gap and bolster the financial success of college and university-level students, the Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus has introduced a bipartisan legislation called the Financial Literacy College Education Act.

What the Financial Literacy College Education Act does

Students learning in a classroom.

The Financial Literacy College Education Act is designed to help colleges and universities throughout the nation establish best practices when they teach financial literacy skills to students. Mainly, it provides these institutions the tools and information they need to empower students to make informed financial decisions.

This also ensures they have access to financial education that will help bolster their overall success. The key objective of the act is to help students become financially self-sufficient and independent.

Why financial literacy is important

According to the Fed, loan balances for students who have a bachelor's degree has risen from $15,000 in the '90s to about $27,000 today. This makes it even more paramount for students to know how to keep a grip on their finances.

When it comes to financial success, it's not necessarily about how much money is earned, but more about how those dollars are actually managed once students see them in the form of a paycheck. Financial illiteracy can lead to misunderstandings in financial dealings, which can then translate into poor financial decision-making that can affect students well into their future.

On the other hand, being financially well-versed means greater chances of securing a solid financial future. Financially literate individuals are empowered to do more with what they make. They execute sound financial decisions and intelligently understand the nuances of personal finance.

This allows them to make wise, well-rooted decisions with how and where to spend or allocate money - and how much of it to use.

Influence your future

Up to Us students educating their peers on the national debt.

If you're a young professional or someone who is still in school, now's the time to take action to secure a sound financial future.

Up to Us is a student-led campaign specifically focused on helping Millennials take action to achieve a fiscally sound future for themselves and our nation. The program raises awareness on campuses about the negative effects shortsighted fiscal policies can have on students' futures. To learn more, visit www.itsuptous.org.