# April 27th Activity of the Day: Build A Credit Card Calculator

It is one thing to tell students that credit cards carry high interest rates, it is probably more effective for learning to have them actually input those high interest rates into their own credit card calculator to see the impact on payments.  In this activity “Excel: Build a Credit Card Calculator,” students get an opportunity to flex their spreadsheet muscles through an activity that provides four options based on level of expertise.  Please share this with your math department too as this activity helps students understand the mathematical underpinnings of credit card calculators and develop a deeper understanding rather than just inputting factors into an online calculator.

The activity starts with a basic scenario that includes information about a credit card balance, a minimum payment amount and an A.P.R. (Annual Percentage Rate).   Continue reading

# April 9th Activity of the Day: Calculate Your FICO Credit Scores

I know what you’re thinking…how can I spice up credit scores and make it a more engaging topic for high school or college students for that matter.  For those students without credit cards (and with no other borrowing that requires a credit check), this may seem to be one of those topics that they quickly categorize into the “This doesn’t apply to me.”  Unfortunately, as the use of FICO scores has extended beyond simple credit decisions to apartment rentals, insurance premiums and even employment decisions, actions that students take in high school and college can have long-lasting effects (and now FICO scores may start picking up payment history on monthly bills such as utilities or cellphones).   Continue reading

# Activity of the Day: What’s the Value of A College Education?

As admissions decisions are delivered to households (and email accounts), I thought I would highlight another of our college related activities, “What’s the Value Of A College Education?“. This is one of my favorite activities to motivate my freshman students. While the value of a college education definitely goes beyond the higher earnings potential, it still is quite eye-opening for students to actually quantify what the value is.   Continue reading

# Activity of the Day: How Much Should I Borrow For College?

April is Financial Literacy Month so NGPF will be featuring a new activity from our NEW! Activity Bank every day this month.  Given that it is April 1st and college admissions and financial aid award letters are landing in mailboxes across the country, many students (and their parents) are probably wondering “How Much Should I Borrow for College?

In this NGPF activity, students are first introduced to the rule of thumb about how much to borrow for college based on expected earnings after college.  Students then access a recent survey that highlights starting salaries for recent college graduates based on their field of study.  This information shows how salaries vary based on college major which is important for students to understand PRIOR to making that choice.  This provides an opportunity for a class discussion about what factors a student should consider in selecting a major.   Continue reading

# Featured NGPF Lesson: Scams, Fraud and Identity Theft

It’s National Consumer Protection Week, so a great time to highlight our lesson “Scams, Fraud and Identity Theft.”

Given the increasing prevalence of identity theft and other financial scams facilitated by the internet, we believe this is an integral lesson to increase student savviness.  The lesson exposes students to the most popular financial scams and engages students with a group project where they become a “scam expert” and recommend steps to avoid falling victim to their specific scam.  Other concepts covered in the lesson: Continue reading

# NGPF Featured Lesson: Needs vs. Wants

From Jessica Endlich Winkler, NGPF’s resident budget guru:

Our unit on Budgeting is a long one, but students will legitimately have all the tools they need to complete a thorough, well planned, strategic budget for living as an independent adult. The final lesson in completing this process is for each student to determine their Needs vs. Wants.

I think students will find it interesting to start by watching a video, analyzing an infographic, OR reading an article (all options in one resource!) on how the average American spends their paycheck. Then, every finance guru has their own recommendation for how budgeting should be done responsibly — Suze tells a viewer whether she can afford a \$1200 tote, and an About Money article describes Elizabeth Warren‘s 50/30/20 Rule of Thumb.   Continue reading