Monthly Archives: April 2014

What Are Credit Card Trends Your Students Should Know About?

Cycling through last few weeks of news stories about credit cards:

  • Credit card companies have given retailers until October 2015 to upgrade their payment systems to accept more secure “chip and pin” credit cards (Bloomberg):

“EMV is considered more secure because it’s harder to copy account numbers and security codes from chips than from the magnetic strips on most cards used in the U.S. EMV cards create a unique code for each transaction, making them more difficult to hack or counterfeit than striped cards.”

  • Study of college freshman shows link between financial knowledge and behaviors and prior coursework in personal finance.  Also shows disturbing trend of credit card late payments (USA Today):

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What Makes An Awesome Personal Finance Activity?

Study released by Dept. of Treasury found beneficial impacts from on-campus banks and five hours of financial education for fourth and fifth graders:

“Overall, the research found improved outcomes from the hands-on financial education approach. Even relatively short classroom financial education significantly improved student financial knowledge, the effects of which persisted through the end of the study period. Both the financial education and access to in-school savings accounts were found to improve students’ attitudes toward saving and about financial institutions. A student with access to banking in his or her school also was more likely to have a savings account than a student who did not.”

Having just completed a six week course of personal finance instruction for high school seniors (24 hours), I saw firsthand the power of experiential project-based learning.  Students had the opportunity to pick a credit card, play an investment simulation game, create a college budget, choose a checking account, make lending decisions based on credit file information, own a stock along with other projects.  Here is just a sampling of their comments in post-course survey:

  • “The activities that were good were the ones where we were actually “doing something,” for example the bean game, we were actually thinking on what exactly we had to put more money in and what we did not. Activities that make us be engaged on what the material is, is what is most helpful.”
  • “The things that made these activities good is that they really connected to real life situations which made me realize these different situations in life can actually happen.”
  • “What made them good was that were able to make our decisions and even though they weren’t going to have real consequences, it gave us a sense of how we need to manage our lives.”

In short, students learn personal finance best when you can create activities that involve decision-making, are “real-lfe” and relevant to their lives.