While moving into adulthood, teens are faced with a number of paths. Empowering students to select which path works best for them and determine how to best financially plan for the future are key to ensuring that some of their first adult decisions set them on a trajectory toward success.

While research shows a positive connection between higher education and economic status, it’s important to recognize that the traditional route to higher education does not work for every student. However, it is critical that every student have access to information that will help them plan for whatever path they choose.

Opting for traditional higher education can prove challenging for many due to the rising costs. Since the 1970s, college costs in the U.S. have tripled. Today, private school costs an average of $30,000+ per year while public college costs $22,000+ per year, according to U.S. News & World Report.

I work with my high school students to ensure they understand the critical role of financial planning, no matter where their future takes them. Some of the most helpful resources I’ve found are from Pathway to Financial Success in School, a program from Discover Financial Services and Discovery Education. The standards-aligned resources, like the self-paced learning units, are designed for wherever learning is taking place and give educators like me a solid foundation to help students understand the maze of topics related to finances and a set of strategies to help them as they move through life. The best part? They are all available at no-cost.

Linda Hixson is a Technology Teacher at Shenandoah Valley Jr/Sr High School in the Shenandoah Valley School District of Pennsylvania.

[Read More…]