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PwC and Knowledge@Wharton High School to Co-host Business and Financial Responsibility Training

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PwC and Knowledge@Wharton High School to Co-host Business and Financial Responsibility Training Seminar for 150 High School Educators, All Expenses Paid

Registration Opens Today

PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) and PwC today announced the convening of the PwC-KWHS Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility. The all-expenses-paid financial literacy conference for 150 educators will be held Sept. 28-30 on the Philadelphia campus of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

"Our goal in creating this conference is to promote financial literacy, entrepreneurship and leadership among high school students, and to provide educators with lessons and skills for their classrooms," said Mukul Pandya, executive director and editor-in-chief of Knowledge@Wharton. "We are thrilled to work with PwC to bring this training seminar to life."

While 13 states mandate personal-finance coursework as a graduation requirement, 35 percent of teens don't know how to write a check and fewer than one-in-five teachers feels prepared to teach financial literacy, according to studies from Charles Schwab and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. More

Swimming in the Real-World Financial Pool

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Shahar Ziv; Huffington Post 7/12/2012

Summer always brings a certain excitement as a new crop of freshly minted college graduates descends upon Manhattan and other cities, ready to take on the world. But while these young adults come armed with diplomas, a new wardrobe, and endless ambition, most lack a solid grasp of what it means to be financially literate. Today's graduates are diving into the real-world financial pool without even the basic strokes of personal finance. As the recent financial crisis has illuminated, not only is the water quite deep, but there are also plenty of sharks and, unfortunately, not as many lifeguards as we would have hoped.

A fundamental shift in risk, most notably in the transition from guaranteed pensions to individual retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, means that the economy that today's graduates enter is structurally different from the one of previous generations. Simultaneously, most Americans, young and old, display a strikingly low level of financial literacy. A 2010 Financial Literacy Survey of adults, conducted on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc., revealed that 34 percent of U.S. adults (over 76 million people) gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance. On questions dealing with compound interest, inflation, and risk diversification, studies by Professors Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia Mitchell show significantly low rates of understanding among the general population and specifically among certain demographics including women, African Americans, and Hispanics.

The lack of financial sophistication in the United States has severe consequences. Academic research has found that individuals who are not financially literate are less likely to plan for and accumulate retirement wealth, participate in the stock market, and refinance mortgages during periods of falling rates. More

Closing the Gap in Economic Education: Financial Literacy Begins in the Classroom

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Closing the Gap in Economic Education: Financial Literacy Begins in the Classroom

Nan J. Morrison, President & CEO, Council for Economic Education

Huffington Post Blog 04/30/2012

Like most young adults fresh out of college, saving for the future wasn't my top priority when I landed my first job. Left to my own devices, I can't say for certain I wouldn't have spent almost every cent of those paychecks, if not for my father reminding me once a week, every week, to contribute to my 401(k). He never missed a call -- and I never missed a payment.

But not everyone is so lucky to have a mentor like I did.

Parents are Lacking in Financial Know-How

If there's one lesson we've learned from the recent recession and its painful fallout, it's that an alarming number of Americans lack the basic dollars-and-cents understanding they need to navigate today's global economy. The gap between what people know and what they need to know is widening every day.

Just consider these stats:

Only 49.7 percent of U.S. adults can define a "budget deficit."

9 million households have neither a checking nor a savings account.

29 percent of Americans have no savings at all.

It would seem that an overwhelming number of American adults are ill-equipped to instruct their children in economics and personal finance. But they're not the only ones.

Teachers and Schools Come up Short on Economic Education

Many teachers are also woefully under-educated when it comes to financial literacy. In a recent survey, 20 percent of teachers stated that they do not feel competent to teach basic personal finance. And those who actually teach economics to high school students have often received minimal college instruction in the subject.

That said, some schools have ramped up financial education requirements in the years since my organization, the Council for Economic Education, has been tracking their progress. In the year 2000, only seven states required a high school personal finance course to be offered; by 2011 that number had doubled to 14. But our most recent Survey of the States shows that in the past two years, that momentum has slowed, and in some cases even come to a halt.

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