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W. P. Carey School of Business, Phoenix Union launch financial literacy partnership

Program to focus on improving financial decision-making for high school students


House and coins

A new partnership between Phoenix Union High School District and the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University hopes to boost practical financial knowledge in young people, leading toward better financial outcomes for students and their communities. Photo credit Shutterstock

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August 18, 2023

As Camelback High School students return to school this fall, 150 of them will complete a new program focused on improving financial literacy.

A new partnership between Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) and the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University hopes to boost practical financial knowledge in young people, leading toward better financial outcomes for students and their communities.

Laura Lindsey, chair of the Department of Finance at W. P. Carey, explains, “We hope to empower young people to take control of their financial lives at an earlier age, reducing barriers to financial well-being.” Lindsey and Atif Ikram, clinical associate professor of finance and faculty director in the MBA program, worked to develop the course curriculum with a team of faculty from the finance department, alongside administrators and teachers at PXU.

Incorporating new financial literacy components into an economics class that already exists, students will tackle topics such as budgeting, taxes, debt management, retirement, insurance and more. Students who earn a "C" or above have the option to earn college credit through dual enrollment in ASU's universal learner courses, which are offered via ASU's Learning Enterprise, the university's unit for advancing universal access to learning at all stages in life.

W. P. Carey School alumnus and Dean’s Council member Bart Faber, '69 BS in finance, first proposed the idea and is financially supporting the program through its first iteration. Thanks to Faber’s support, the W. P. Carey School plans to fully scholarship the credits so financial barriers do not interfere with a student’s ability to take advantage of the program.

“I’m honored to be a part of this new program bringing quality financial education to young people in the Valley,” Faber says. “Over 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We hope early financial literacy education can play a role in breaking that cycle and teaching students sound financial habits.”

“This new program is an excellent way for our students to not only learn vital life skills, but also a way to introduce them to college and show them they are capable of earning college credits,” says Tony Camp, executive director for teaching and learning at PXU.

James Arndt, principal of Camelback High School, is thrilled to launch a program with such potential for impact. “We greatly appreciate W. P. Carey’s partnership on this effort. We commit to our students ‘achieving readiness in college, career and life,’ and this program helps make that promise a reality.”

The program is one key way the W. P. Carey School of Business is honoring its mission to take responsibility for the well-being of the communities it serves. Financial literacy is also an area of strategic focus for the school. A separate program offering graduate courses to K–12 teachers on personal finance topics is also launching this fall.

“W. P. Carey recognizes financial inclusion as a key enabler for economic empowerment and future prosperity. It can be a valuable cornerstone to driving student success while in school, and to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives,” says Ohad Kadan, Charles J. Robel Dean and W. P. Carey Distinguished Chair in Business. “As a business school, we not only need to engage with banks and corporations, but also in helping individuals make better financial decisions. Through the financial literacy program and our partnership with Phoenix Union High School District, we are investing in Arizona students and families.”

Those interested in contributing to the program can do so via the Department of Finance Development Fund.

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