High School graduates up to their eyeballs in debt

The fight for financial literacy getting an early start.

High School graduates up to their eyeballs in debt
Retirement readiness is a major topic of conversation these days.
In the past week we’ve run two stories from the Conference Board of Canada and BlackRock Investments, both focusing on financial literacy, or the lack thereof, as a major reason Canadians aren’t more confident about their financial future.
Recently, the Oakville Beaver ran an article discussing how a group of elementary school students at St. Matthew Catholic Elementary are learning about financial planning in an effort to become more financially literate.
Funded by a $1,000 grant from the provincial Parents Reaching Out Grants (PROGrant) initiative, the children learned about money and responsibility over three days of instruction; the program couldn’t have come at a better time.
According to the Canadian Foundation of Economic Education (CFEE), 50% of high school graduates are carrying some amount of debt. That’s a staggering amount for kids as young as 17.
But what exactly does this statistic tell us?
At first glance it seems as though the CFEE is talking about debt incurred while actually in high school, but when you take a closer look at the document – produced by the B.C. Securities Commission – you’ll quickly realize this debt is primarily incurred to cover the cost of post-secondary education.
Although student debt is an important issue it definitely isn’t a new topic of conversation.
No, what’s interesting about the Oakville Beaver story is that schools are proactively tackling financial literacy at an early age. With the help of organizations like CFEE, future generations of students could enter post-secondary education better prepared to cope with their finances.