A new personal financial literacy tool called Money Path is available for free for Wisconsin educators to use with students. Money Path is web-based and guides students through a step-by-step simulation of life after graduation. Using up-to-date, official data on career starting salaries and postsecondary education costs, students learn how to pay for school, develop a real-life budget, and set savings goals. Side-by-side comparisons of different options help students envision the long-term impact of their decisions, and create a personalized plan for their financial future.
Nic Manogue, a business educator at Milton High School, was tasked with creating their Financial Literacy and Employment Skills course for all juniors, having them build an Academic Career Plan with a post-secondary plan they continue to use for their required Senior ACP Exit Interview. Once Manogue learned about Money Path, the hours and days it took to track all students’ plans became much more streamlined. “The change immediately made our process more efficient, and more importantly, helped parents and students to be better informed of potential college costs per their situation, potential salaries, and gave a glance as to a potential budget as they began their future career,” Manogue said.
He recently added Money Path to complete other activities like budgeting for purchasing an automobile, renting an apartment, and savings plans. “The students have seemed to appreciate that they are completing this project, not on fictitious numbers, but numbers that could apply to futures they have chosen,” he said.
Cynthia Chin, a math teacher at Madison East High School uses Money Path with seniors in the Financial Algebra class as part of the district’s Academic and Career Planning portfolio, and with juniors and seniors in Advanced Placement Calculus as part of their course selection planning and decisions about colleges and financial aid offers.
“Students remark on the non-negotiability of student loan payments and the automation of saving for an emergency fund,” Chin said. “Some are surprised that careers they were considering pay lower starting salaries than expected; others are not surprised by the salaries, but surprised by the comparison of salary to cost of living.” Like Manogue, Chin also noted how helpful and efficient it is to save and share individual students’ reports in Money Path.
Manogue sums it up: “MoneyPath is a one-stop-shop for making college and career decisions with the most important aspect being usable real data for students (and families) to make educated decisions on their future.”
Money Path is available through Xello, Google Classroom, and other formats, and is provided at no cost to all Wisconsin K-12 schools. Students receive individual log-ins for unlimited access. To learn more, go to the Money Path web page.
The above is provided for informational purposes only. Money Path is not sponsored by or affiliated with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction or the State of Wisconsin.