Phi Beta Cons

Universities Require Diversity Lessons, But Shrug Off Financial Literacy

An analysis of the Big Ten conference by The College Fix found that all 14 member schools require a diversity class for graduation while just one school requires all students to learn how to handle debt or save for retirement. IU-Bloomington mandates financial literacy for all incoming freshmen, but it involves only a “60-minute online learning unit about personal finances.”

Two others in the Big Ten host financial lessons to smaller subsets of students. For example, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a personal finance seminar for student orientation, but that only hosts 200 students. Ohio State University has its 1,600 students in the STEP program take a “financial wellness program.”

That’s the good news. Back at UIUC, which doesn’t require experience in balancing a checkbook, students can fulfill the diversity requirement through “Asian American Pop Culture” or “Islamic Gardens and Architecture,” The College Fix reports, adding: “At Northwestern University, first-year seminars cover a wide variety of topics, but none on personal finance or consumer economics. The classes include ‘Sleep,’ ‘Secret Life of the Fetish’ and ‘Growing up Gay.’”

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