Does the average 16-year-old know how quickly the balance on a credit card can escalate? How to compare savings plans? Or what a 401(K) is?
They do if they completed Todd Cossman’s economics class at Pratt High School, which included a 10-unit course on financial literacy, made possible through the cooperation of First National Bank in Pratt.
EverFi, a web-based course that includes interactive lessons, games and story-based activities, teaches a variety of topics that include credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings plans and retirement accounts.
EverFi, Inc. was founded in 2008 to tackle what its current chief operating officer described as unfunded mandates in 21st century education — digital and financial literacy, substance abuse and civic organization. The company partners with corporations, foundations and nonprofit organizations to provide funding so EverFi can deliver its products to schools for free.
David Schmidt, curriculum director for USD 382, said when he learned about the program, he sought out sponsorship, and First National Bank was a willing participant.
The Kansas State Department of Education has debated whether personal finance should be a required part of the high school curriculum. The mandate has not yet come down, but Schmidt said the district is “on the train that’s moving in the right direction and even ahead of the station.”
He said the program is one of the most user-friendly he has encountered and presents information students wouldn’t typically encounter until they got their first credit card or student loan. Even parents, who live with financial concepts every day, may not completely understand them.
“I learned some things,” said Kim Asbury, vice president and loan officer at the bank, who presented certificates to students who had completed the program on Tuesday.