Junior Achievement Highlights Importance of Financial Education for Teens During April's National Financial Literacy Month

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Poll: More Than 33% of Teens Don't Understand That Borrowers, Not Government, are Responsible for Paying Off Student Loan Debt

A new survey of 1,000 teens by Junior Achievement USA and Voya Foundation shows that nearly two-thirds of teens, or 65 percent, understand that borrowers are ultimately responsible for paying off their student loans, even if they borrowed more money than they are able to pay off, while 11 percent believe the government should do so. Fewer, 7 percent, believe it is the responsibility of the college and 5 percent think it’s up to the lender to resolve.

The survey was conducted March 1-6 by Opinion Research.

"College education is the second largest investment many people will make in their lifetimes, and yet decisions to take on student debt are made by 17 and 18 year olds who have received little to no financial literacy education," said Bernadine Venditto, president of Junior Achievement of Western CT.

Junior Achievement of Western CT is addressing students' need for improved financial literacy this month and year round with its Financial Literacy programs for elementary, middle and high school students. At each grade level, students learn, through interactive lessons, about spending money within a budget, savings, debt, investing and using credit cautiously.

To help make better informed decisions about paying for higher education, Junior Achievement offers a free online guide, Understanding the Student Loan Explosion: Implications for Students and Their Families (https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-usa/ja-influencer), to teens, parents, teachers and school counselors. It highlights factors students should take into consideration when exploring opportunities for higher education. These include how to better understand the real costs of going to college and how to weigh alternatives to a four-year school, such as community college and technical schools.

The survey also found that 89 percent of teens who responded expect to attend college. Of those, 40 percent expect help in the form of scholarships and grants; 21 percent believe they will receive financial support from their parents and family members; 17 percent plan to work to earn money for college; and approximately 11 percent anticipate taking on student loans to help pay for their higher education.

About Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to empower young people with the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. For more information about JAWCT or to volunteer, please visit http://www.jawct.org or call 203.382.0180.


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Jocelyn Murray
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Junior Achievement of Western CT
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