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Financial fears: How USC is helping students build money management skills

Stress less, life’s not all death and taxes

Cash being fanned out from a wallet.

It’s been said that “the only sure things in life are death and taxes.” But how many Gen Z are competent in the worlds of finance? USC is holding an event today and tomorrow.. which may be a lifesaver.

Nicki Berelson reports.

With the cost of tuition at USC being raised thousands of dollars every year, many students have expressed concerns about financing their education. But what about education for their financing?

According to a 2021 financial literacy survey by The Harris Poll, 75% of teens lack confident knowledge of their personal finances and a quarter of Americans claim that they don’t have someone to go to for financial guidance. At USC, the consensus is clear, students don’t know much about preparing their finances for the future.

This idea is summarized by sophomore Tyler Marquis, who says that this is a widespread issue.

Tyler Marquis: You know, I feel like there’s--it’s like certain people at the school know tons about finances and other people, its like nothing.

To address this gap in knowledge, USC is holding a financial literacy conference today and tomorrow to teach students about saving, investing, credit score, debt management, and much more.

The USC career center’s financial literacy conference was packed with dozens of students lining up outside the hall 30 minutes before and after the event to talk with speakers. The room was buzzing with questions about taxes, savings, and investments. Public accountant and USC alum Kathryn Shirley was joined by financial planner Max Pashman to guide students through their journey to financial empowerment.

Shirley expressed concern about the younger generation’s financial knowledge.

Kathryn Shirley: Financial literacy is difficult for this generation because they just don’t get the education that they need.

She believes that the key to financial independence is to start thinking about your future from an early age.

Kathryn Shirley: I really think that it should start in high school at least so that they can start talking about it, getting used to it, getting comfortable with it. So by the time they’re in college and become young adults, it will be second hand for sure.

Pashman agrees with Shirley, but he believes that this whole ordeal shouldn’t be scary to begin with.

Max Pashman: Take your time with it. I mean, I think that what people underestimate is just how simple it can be. It’s not rocket science. You just have to stick to whatever you lay out.

If you are also among the students confused about the world of personal finances, you can sign up for tomorrow’s event, with topics including budgeting and building financial wealth, by visiting the USC career center website.

From Annenberg Media, I’m Nicki Berelson.