Attention to all parents and grandparents of a college-bound high school student: our next Front Street Foundation Money Series event will provide your young loved ones with financial lessons that are certain to save them emotional anguish and money for years to come!
That’s quite a claim, but I’ll stand behind it. In fact, for the most enterprising high school students with a willingness to learn from the mistakes of others, we’ll put some money on it.
For the first fifteen students who attend our April 19th event, whether you drag them to it or not, we’ll award a $10 gift card to Brew located in downtown Traverse City.
Our upcoming Money Series presenter, Pam Boyce, is both my colleague and a former MSU instructor of personal finance for over fifteen years. She will share her financial survival tips for college students gleaned from the personal insights and experiences of her many former students.
With the cost of college rising unabated, with student loan debt hitting record levels and with the growing need for a college degree in an increasingly competitive economy, today’s students simply need more personal finance know-how than any previous generation. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been.
Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of credit is a prime example. Without the ability to borrow money and manage debt responsibly, many doors in life remain closed or only open up much later in life. The lessons of debt often start with the funding of a college education.
Given this, establishing a sound credit rating from the get-go is important. For many, that process starts in college when many students are issued their first credit card. If used wisely, it can be a benefit later in life. If used unwisely, as far too many do, it can lead to serious financial hardship.
Student loans are a particularly complex form of credit that deserves thoughtful consideration from students.
I remember reading an astounding statistic during the Great Recession of ‘07-’09. When the nation’s official jobless rate peaked at 10% – matching the unemployment rate of those with only a high school diploma – college educated workers were less than half as likely to be jobless.
This proved definitively that not only does a college degree allow for significantly greater earnings over a lifetime, importantly it also increases the stability of those earnings during the tougher times.
However, borrowing significant sums to get that valuable college degree – without regard for the type of job you are seeking, without consideration of the lower cost routes available and without establishing basic budgeting habits while in college – can often lead to decades of financial struggle.
In fact, stretching too far financially for your degree or unconsciously burning through borrowed money during those college years can cause serious delays in many of life’s natural milestones; getting married, buying a home, starting a business or even starting a family.
Pam Boyce’s upcoming Money Series presentation is designed to speak directly to high school students; admittedly a demographic that’s less-than-likely to actually read this column!
Do your part by taking your child or grandchild out on a rare date on Wednesday, April 19th at 6:30pm to the McGuire Room at the Traverse Area District Library. They might even thank you by treating you to a cup of coffee at Brew! Register at frontstreetfoundation.org or call (231) 714-6459.