Student Success

How higher education leaders can institute and support financial literacy programs for their student body

By March 15, 2020No Comments
Isabel Thottam

by Isabel Thottam

Higher education institutions have a huge impact on our economy, because schools play a major role in educating the future workers of our society. Unfortunately, our current education system does not require high school education systems to develop financial literacy skills, which means many students enrolled in college will be learning these skills for the very first time.

Since many jobs in our current society require some type of college degree, the role of institutions in training individuals for our economy is becoming increasingly more significant. Therefore, it’s extremely important for higher education leaders to support financial literacy programs for their student body — it’s likely that first-time students will not only learn such skills, but also recognize their importance.

Students will face many financial decisions throughout their lifetime, with the biggest one being the decision to go to college. For many, due to the fact that the cost of tuition has been rising faster than income levels, higher education may seem financially out of reach.

According to the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission, between the academic years of 2004-2005 and 2015-2016, the cost of undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board at public institutions rose 34%. This number is after adjustment for inflation. This means that more students have taken on debt to pay for college—much of which consists of federal government loans totaling more than 1.5 trillion.

In fact, studies show that one in five adults who attended college believe that the cost of their education exceeded the financial benefits they later earned. 

We recognize the financial burdens and problems students endure while attending college, but what can higher education institutions do to support them through their studies? In this article, we will discuss the following:

  • How institutions currently aid students financially
  • What financial literacy programs are working
  • What leaders can do to implement financial success programs

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Isabel Thottam

Isabel Thottam

Isabel Thottam is a freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. A graduate from Emerson College, Isabel has self-published two books, “The Labradoodle Who Lost His Doodle,” and “Joy Comes In The Morning.” She writes on the topics of career, technology, sustainable food, mental health and has been published in Fast Company, Glassdoor,, Fortune, Edible Seattle, Paste Magazine, and more. In addition to writing, Isabel works for a small, family orchard in Washington State selling fruit!