Financial Literacy


Some of you saw the flyer I posted for the gig I did at the University of Kansas a couple of weeks ago. I was invited to talk to some students in an enlightening but humorous context about, of all topics, "financial literacy.” Now for those of you who even slightly know me, I’m sure a spit take or head snap occurred. Sorry about that! But you know what? For the 10 students who attended, it was a barn burner!

cost of college chart
cost of college chart

I asked the students: "How's this investment working for ya?” Awkward pause, confused looks, someone dropped their Reese's Pieces. Then I asked if they felt they were being mentored, coached, and motivated — or mostly lectured, talked at and then tested? I also asked if they felt they were being introduced to cutting-edge opportunities in their field and given time to collaborate with like-minded passionate students ... or trapped in mucho butt time in classes that could be a BitTorrent download and a few days of 100-level binge viewing? I asked if teachers were still using mega-overpriced textbooks rather than the 24,000 articles written last month and available via this much cheaper book-like thingy called Google? I asked them if I gave them $60,000 a year if they could figure out another way to learn or bribe someone else to teach them or hell, hire them to teach them in whatever they think they're interested in doing.

And lastly I asked if this school — or any school like this — offers an introductory class called “Great jobs, where are they and how do I get one?” I think I saw someone pop a Tums — maybe it was a Reese's Pieces but I don’t think so.

So, not to draw too fine of a point — but take a glance at this mind-blowing OMG chart that FORBES provided on the present and future cost of a college degree! Yeah! I don’t think college students need a lecture in financial literacy; I think colleges and our society do, but I’m not sure they’d show up to the presentation either.