Financial Education Innovation Fund to expand financial education for young consumers
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration’s Division of Banks (Division) in partnership with the State Treasurer’s Office today announced the creation of the Financial Education Innovation Fund (Innovation Fund). The Innovation Fund will provide an opportunity for high schools to develop or expand a financial education fair.
These events are most commonly known as “Credit for Life” fairs. They are designed to be a fun and effective way for students to learn about making real world financial decisions when it comes to saving, spending, and budgeting based on career choices and lifestyle decisions.
“I feel strongly that students need to be exposed to financial literacy earlier and more often. We need to teach these skills so they can be used every day, so individuals can make sound financial decisions about their future,” said Governor Baker. “I am pleased that the Division of Banks is joining the Treasurer’s Office in promoting future Credit for Life Fairs.”
Massachusetts school districts are not required to teach financial education and these courses are taught on a voluntary basis. Approximately 50 high schools in the Commonwealth currently offer money management events to their students.
"I have seen firsthand the profound impact these 'Credit for Life' fairs have on the high school students participating,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “This Innovation Fund allows us to expand our financial literacy outreach to more communities across the Commonwealth, educating a new group of students on the realities they will face as adults."
Initially, $50,000 will be allocated to the Innovation Fund from the Division to support a pilot financial education program. High schools throughout the Commonwealth that may not otherwise be able to sponsor this type of program may apply for funding to conduct a Credit for Life fair. This financial education initiative will be funded with monies received by the Division in settlement of alleged unlawful lending practices.
For the first year, up to 15 schools will be selected to receive funding from the Innovation Fund. Schools must submit a completed application to the Office of the State Treasurer by June 30, 2015 for consideration of an Innovation Fund award of up to $5,000. Award grantees will be notified in August and financial education events will be conducted by December 31, 2015.
“The Division’s goal of consumer protection goes beyond the implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations,” said John Chapman, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “It is also our responsibility to provide consumers of all ages the proper information to make wise financial decisions.”
The application for the Innovation Fund initiative is available on the State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment website at www.mass.gov/treasury/innovationfund
The Division of Banks is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation which oversees state-chartered banks and credit unions, check sellers, debt collectors, foreign transmittal agencies, mortgage lenders and brokers. For more information visit the Division’s website at www.mass.gov/dob or contact the Division of Bank’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-495-BANK (2265).