The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans (Council) published its final report to the President and Secretary of the Treasury today on the ways to build the financial knowledge and skills of the nation’s younger people. The report includes recommendations for government, individual commitments to action, and best practices for improving financial capability.
“The Council’s work recognizes that the financial decisions young people make can set the course for their futures. We must ensure that young people, especially those in underserved populations, learn early about life’s financial choices,” stated U.S. treasury secretary Jacob Lew. “The commitments to action that individual Council members and their organizations have made will provide opportunities for young people to build the financial skills necessary in today’s economy.”
“Financial literacy is critical to ensuring opportunity for all young Americans,” added U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan. “This report is an important contribution to our understanding of financial capability and makes thoughtful recommendations for empowering students.”
“The work of the Council offers a road map to reach young people at important stages in their lives,” stated John W. Rogers, Jr., chair of the council and chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments. “Many of the recommendations and actions announced today focus on building the financial capability of young people in public schools, as well as other key settings, and highlight the promise of partnerships with private sector and non-profit organizations.”
Today’s report includes recommendations for improving the financial capability of young people and identifies a number of areas where progress is needed to improve financial decision making. These areas include simplifying student aid; tying together youth employment opportunities and financial education; addressing identity theft and financial abuse; and encouraging innovative approaches to build teachers’ ability to teach financial education in schools.
Additionally, Council members outlined several actions that private sector and non-profit organizations are taking to implement change. Highlights include:
- Council members intend to grow partnerships for college mentoring by expanding existing mentoring partnerships such as the Davidson College, Franklin & Marshall College and the College Advising Corps program by training college students to help underserved students and families to prepare and make informed choices about college and financial aid.
- With support from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Digital Promise will develop a pilot to test whether teachers who become more comfortable and confident with personal finance topics and effective strategies for teaching these topics will be better equipped to teach them. The pilot will provide access to tools powered by digital technologies to improve teachers’ motivation, confidence, and skills.
- The National Endowment for Financial Education and the Take Charge America Institute at the University of Arizona are building a new online national teacher resource center. The center will provide financial capability resources for middle and high school educators.
- The Citi Foundation and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund expanded their Summer Jobs Connect program into the District of Columbia and St. Louis to provide more than 2,000 low-income youth with summer work experience, access to financial education, and appropriate financial services. Other cities involved in the initiative include Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago.
- Over three years, the Chicago Financial Education Initiative will bring together city agencies and financial education providers for the first time to develop and enact a plan to make financial education accessible to all youth, parents and community members.
- In New York, a partnership between the Council for Economic Education and W!SE will provide financial education and certification to high school students.
- Operation HOPE has partnered with a number of financial institutions to open Hope Inside Centers in underserved communities, including Detroit and St. Louis.
- The Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati and the Math Forum at Drexel University have launched a new series of lessons for students in grades three through eight that integrate math and financial literacy called “Math That Makes ¢ents.” The series is funded by Jump$tart, and supported by the National Endowment for Financial Education.
- Casey Family Programs has committed to sponsoring an Operation HOPE Fellow to help carry out the recommendations of this report, with a particular emphasis on building financial capability through employment.
Members of the Council include the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 22 non-governmental members appointed by the President. President Obama created the Council with Executive Order 13646 in June 2013 for a two year term.
For the full Council report, head to the Treasury's site here.