NAU Hosts Financial Literacy Boot Camp for High School Students | education

Flagstaff’s growing senior base of high schools spent some time building their financial literacy skills last week as part of a boot camp hosted by Northern Arizona University’s WA Franke College of Business .

Last Thursday morning, about 25 students gathered for the first day of camp. The warm-up activity began with a series of questions.

Do you prefer to save money or invest it? Would you give a loan to a family member?

The students discussed the answers again, delving into simulated financial situations.

The activity was the first in a series of lessons that students would participate in during the event, which this year took place on July 28 and 29, with financial educators presenting practical financial skills such as budgeting, investing and banking basics.

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Nancy Baca, interim director of NAU’s Economic Policy Institute and associate professor of economics, said the program grew out of conversations with local high school economics and personal finance teachers.

Flagstaff public high school seniors are required to take a semester-long economics and personal finance class, which Baca said she has heard from local teachers “isn’t enough.”

“It’s a really crucial time in the lives of these young adults, and not all of them will go to college, so we won’t always have the opportunity to provide them with additional financial and economic education,” Baca said of the decision. to focus on the increasing elderly population. “I think it’s important before they start making these very important financial decisions in their lives that they at least have a foundation.”

Baca said she has heard stories of students who have shared what they learned at camp with their families and taught their parents something about finances in the process.

“It breaks the cycle that the lack of financial education produces in our society, that there seem to be people who just don’t have access to this information,” he said. “Hopefully we’re breaking that cycle and just setting them up for financial success, especially in a world where we have so much economic insecurity. A little bit of information can translate into big changes or lifestyle choices that they can have a big impact, not only now, but also in his retirement, starting to think about some of these things.”

The camp included lessons from Baca, as well as finance teacher Kevin Aguas and teacher Julia Wright, on topics such as goal setting, understanding pay stubs, credit scores and the time value of money. They often included hands-on activities, such as doing calculations based on an imagined situation, looking at sample tax documents, or taking a financial personality quiz.

Organizers of the program plan to continue it next summer and beyond. The college also continues to apply for grants and partnerships to add more financial literacy events and expand into more rural areas of northern Arizona.

The boot camp is in its second year and is one of Franke College’s expanding series of financial literacy programs. Two more were held this summer: the Fleischer Scholars program on entrepreneurship and a fun family finance event with introductory finance-related activities for different ages.

“We’re just going to continue to expand our financial education in the Flagstaff community,” Baca said. “We’re also spreading the word to our tribal communities through financial literacy events and workshops. … I think it’s an amazing way for the Franke College of Business to reach out to our community.”

Baca said she hoped students left last week’s camp feeling “empowered about finances and financial security.”

“I hope they feel like they can make decisions now, small choices that can have a big impact in their future. That they understand that there’s this compounding effect of decision-making, and it really starts with good habits now and good decision-making.” decisions now,” he said.


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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

My name is Chasity. I love to follow the stock market and financial news!