Utne Blogs > Literature

Reading to Make Cents

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: literary news, literacy, financial literacy, economics, education, Chronicle of Higher Education, Texas Tech University, JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, Moby Dick,

U.S. quarterSet down that copy of Moby Dick, and grab your bank statement. Colleges and universities are increasingly focused on arming students with a “new” kind of literacy: the financial variety. As education costs balloon and student debt rises, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education, more and more institutions are following the lead of Texas Tech University, which established a financial literacy program eight years ago.

From the basics of budgeting to the principles of managing debt, there’s a lot of heartache that could be prevented if financial literacy were made as central to education as regular old book-lovin’ literacy. The Chronicle cites a recent survey by the nonprofit Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy that found that fewer than half of high school seniors were aware that credit card companies assess charges if cardholders pay only the minimum balance due. Eesh.

Perhaps from personal financial literacy, greater economic literacy will blossom. To get a head start, brush up, or dig into the front-page headlines of late, check out our online feature: Econ 101: A Crash Course of Economics Blogs.

Image by kevindooley, licensed under Creative Commons.