Teaching students critical financial decision-making skills

February 22, 2019 | Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative

The Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative launched finEDge, a single-semester program designed to prepare high school students to navigate financial decisions with confidence. Instead of simply delivering information and facts, finEDge’s fresh approach to financial education focuses on developing students’ financial attitudes and behaviors. The program prepares students to navigate financial decisions with confidence.

finEDge builds on the momentum of Magnetar Academy, a successful high school financial education curriculum developed by the Magnetar Capital Foundation in 2012 and taught in 700 Chicago-area high school classrooms. In 2016, the Foundation donated $5 million to UChicago STEM Education, originating a partnership to scale financial education across the United States. The finEDge program is a product of this collaboration and is currently being piloted in 10 states.

Several studies report that more than half of 18-24-year-olds wish they’d taken a personal finance course in high school. The Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative designed finEDge to meet this demand.

“When students leave high school, whether they’re headed to college or right into the workforce, their financial responsibilities change,” said Andy Isaacs, director at UChicago STEM Education, where the initiative is housed. “We view financial education as a central responsibility for high schools, and finEDge is purpose-built to guide educators and students through key aspects of the financial system.”

Field tested across a wide range of schools with diverse groups of students, finEDge encourages teaching in the way that students learn best—through exploration, application and reflection. The curriculum addresses access and barriers to financial success, recognizing that the financial system provides students with different choices and opportunities.

“finEDge is special, in part, because it honors the fact that students come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Alec Litowitz, founder and CEO of Magnetar Capital. “Every student can benefit from the coursework, regardless of their family’s current financial circumstances, taking with them knowledge, and skills that will have a positive impact on the rest of their lives.”

To learn more about finEDge, visit http://finedge.uchicago.edu/.

About the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative
Established in 2016, the partnership between UChicago STEM Education and the Magnetar Capital Foundation aims to develop the tools, resources and capacity to scale financial education across the United States, preparing students to be critical consumers in a complex, ever-changing marketplace. A product of the initiative, finEDge is a research-based financial education curriculum that provides students with opportunities to develop positive behaviors and practice making financial decisions. The initiative advocates for a single-semester of financial education in every high school nationwide.

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