Financial illiteracy in college

A recent survey on UVU campus shows that students are not comfortable with their day-to-day spending and even less confident about their major financial decisions.

Students were asked how good they felt about their day-to-day spending choices such as which bank to chose, budgeting or managing a credit card. Chelsee Stone, a UVU student, admits that she feels uneducated when it comes to these types of decisions.

“I could learn this stuff from my parents if I wanted to,” Stone said. “I think it would be good to take it in a classroom instead.” According to the 104 students surveyed, the average confidence of a student’s ability to make major financial decisions dropped to 3.27 from 3.85 on a scale of 1-5 with the day-to-day choices.

UVU currently offers a Principles of Finance course through the Woodbury School of Business as a core course for the degrees offered within it. Daniel Diaz, a communications major at UVU, agrees with Stone that a personal finance class should become a general course.

“I heard that some high schools are requiring a finance class for graduation,” Diaz said. “If they are making it mandatory in high schools, it should also be mandatory in college.”

Diaz also believes that the economy as a whole needs to better handle their finances, which would also help out the nation’s current problems. “I’m surprised legislators haven’t looked at this yet, it’s something we need as a nation,” Diaz said.

Adam Williams, financial planning evangelist and author of Rabbitfunds.com, specifically urged students to think about their future debt now.

“Put every penny you can towards paying off your debt,” Williams said in response to post-college debt. “Keep telling yourself, ‘If I live like a college student for a few more years, then I’ll never have to again.’”

Williams advised college students to look at the whole picture when it comes to finances and make sure you know what you are doing. Investigate your options and look through the network of “strong blogs that offer sound advice and techniques for managing money.”

“Do your research before making financial decisions,” Williams said. “When it comes to debt and finances, don’t try to do it alone. There are many online resources to help make financial decisions.”

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