College Grads and Financial Literacy
It shouldn’t surprise us that workers with advanced degrees make significantly more money over their lifetimes than their counterparts with undergraduate educations or high school diplomas. You would think this fact would give peace of mind to the 1.75 million graduate students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree that their financial futures are bright.
You would be wrong, according to the results of a recent report by the Council of Graduate Students. Students pursuing their master’s and doctoral degrees persistently worry about their current and future financial security, with majorities reporting they felt stressed about their personal finances and dissatisfied with their current financial situation.
Unfortunately, college students are not well prepared for the real world financially speaking, because it is not taught. Some may take a finance course, but it’s completely unrelated to applied finance. In other words, they lack basic financial literacy, and their low financial IQs are hurting them.
Saddled with high student debt, most graduate students are not planning for the future so much as tending to more immediate financial needs, like trying to pay their monthly bills, and this tends to give a sort of myopic outlook on the subject.
But the future is still somewhat bright, considering the proliferation in the last decade of online financial tools that can teach money management skills and calculate savings and retirement programs to a generation of financially illiterate graduates.
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