Treasury Notes

 President’s Advisory Council Continues Work on Financial Capability for Young People

By: Louisa Quittman

This week the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans (Council) met at the White House to discuss its work to help provide the nation’s young people with the tools they need to improve their financial futures.  Secretary Lew joined other members of the Council as they shared their efforts to improve the financial education, skills, and experiences of young people so that all Americans can start their financial lives on the right foot.
In many ways opportunity begins with financial literacy. The more young people understand their financial choices, the more likely they are to manage their money effectively, save and invest, and use credit wisely. As young people grow into financially capable consumers, they can better attain their own financial goals and contribute to the strength of our overall economy.
At this meeting, the Council discussed the role of cities and communities in improving financial capability, an area in which some Council members and their organizations are directly involved. For example, the Citi Foundation announced that, with their support, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund will be expanding their Summer Jobs Connect program to include two more cities—the District of Columbia and St. Louis. The program provides low-income youth with summer work experience, access to financial education, and appropriate financial products. Council members also discussed other ways to support young people building financial knowledge and skills through real-life opportunities of jobs, internships, and entrepreneurship. This discussion included the announcement of new resources from the Casey Family Programs focused on supporting such initiatives.
The Council’s efforts complement the work of the interagency Financial Literacy and Education Commission (Commission), which met last week. At this meeting, five federal regulators, who are members on the Commission, announced new guidance on youth savings accounts. The guidance encourages financial institutions to offer youth savings programs, including school-based savings accounts. Research indicates that school-based youth savings programs—when combined with financial education—can be effective in helping students to improve their long-term financial and education prospects.
The Council welcomes comments and feedback from the public on ways to build the financial capability of young people at an early stage in schools, in family settings, in communities, and at the workplace. The public’s input will inform the Council’s recommendations to Treasury Secretary Lew and President Obama. The public can submit their recommendations to the Council via email to
To watch a webcast of this week’s meeting please click here.
Louisa Quittman is the Director of the Office of Financial Education at the U.S. Treasury Department
Posted in:  Financial Capability
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