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Early bird catches the worm

Introducing basic finance & banking workshops for high school students where they learn handling/managing costs and plan for their future

Photo of Namita Simha

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

Our target audience are high school students. Our idea will help them learn handling finances, make informed decisions and plan ahead of time for their college education thereby allowing them to look for various opportunities to reduce college costs!

Catch them young! Children are quick learners and often times develop great skills at a younger age. Our idea targets high school students, aged 15-20 to learn the basics of handling money, managing finances, planning costs for education or investments in the future. Schools could collaborate with banks and come up with simple and fun workshops where students can learn skills beyond their classroom requirements. This should be mandatory for all high students and each year the curriculum of the workshop will be refreshed depending on current systems and changes so that students learn very current and relevant information.

We believe this idea is part of 'Better together' because, this brings schools, banks/financial institutions and students together to learn and prosper for a better and financially viable tomorrow! 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We plan to discuss with a few banks in our community if they would involve themselves in such programs. We also want to know what banks & schools feel about the idea of reducing college costs and teaching students at a young age some of the 'most often overlooked' aspects of college funding. We would like to involve students to understand what they think about managing college fees in the future and learning it before hand in order to be independent and support themselves if need be!

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We request members and users from the OpenIDEO community who are part of banking and education sectors to join us in the dialogue of bringing basic financial studies to high schools.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • No

10 comments

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Namita et al., interesting idea that reminded me of Gavin's idea: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/higher-ed/ideas/cumulative-savings-ecosystem
His is more long-term and encompasses the whole ecosystem but I can the ideas reinforcing each other.
You might also want to check this project by ideo.org: http://www.ideo.org/projects/financial-tools-for-youth/completed

Photo of Anumit Sasidharan
Team

Just clarifying a couple of things about the idea. Our fundamental goal is to help reduce the poor financial decisions made by students at that young age, especially ones from lower income backgrounds who don't have a support system around them. It also educates the students on the options available to them. For example, if in case their uneducated parents weren't aware of the 529 account and other options like Gavin's idea, the students themselves might be of the opinion that college is beyond them. This idea, being a mandatory part of the high school curriculum, could help students like that learn about their available options and make better decisions.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Anumit for these clarifications. They are useful as you start thinking of prototyping the workshops: what kind of content? how will this be presented so that students engage with the content? and in the context of this challenge, how does the learning really help students in their college choice / plans. You might want to think of a persona and a user journey to help you clarify for the other community members. Gavin does a great job in his post at presenting the idea.

Photo of Namita Simha
Team

Hello Anne, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree to your point, Gavin has very well articulated the idea of using the 529 plan and explained using persona and journey map. We will try to incorporate the story of our persona, whom we interviewed, describe their journey map and specify the content we plan to introduce to high school students.
Thanks!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Here is another idea from another challenge that does a great job (I think) in using a persona and a scenario to present the idea: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion
Looking forward to seeing your idea evolve.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Namita, it'd be great if you could include the persona and experience map to help readers understand better the idea and the experience and value creation for high school students.

Photo of Elric Martinez
Team

I appreciate how accessible this idea is for just about any high school. Schools are so often focused on the typical subjects (and improving test scores in those areas) that they fail to prepare students for college at all, let alone inspiring the confidence some students need to consider college in the first place. Very nice!

Photo of Namita Simha
Team

Hello Elric, thanks for your comment! We believe there should be opportunities for students to learn beyond what the classroom requirements are and be prepared for real world problems.

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Nice one Namita! It'd be helpful to learn more about how this early bird program is different compared to the other financial literacy programs out there. In additional to spreading awareness, how might the key partnerships you've described create new funding opportunities or restructure the cost of college?

Photo of Namita Simha
Team

Hi Shane, thanks for your comment. Our program is specific to high school students and is mandatory. It will give them a real insight into how the educational costs are structured and in the future they could plan to take their courses or make informed decisions about selecting degree programs that suits their needs and is well within their budgets. Our program will also aim to be interactive for the students and an opportunity for them to learn independent of their parents.
Thanks!