By Senator Pat Jones
Finances are a determining factor in whether people pursue postsecondary education. If they can’t find a way to pay for college, they don’t go or don’t finish. Starting to save for college early benefits students in many ways: * It gives students more options upon graduating from high school. * It’s easier to save over time. Investing a fraction of money into the bank each month creates a feeling of structure and security. * It allows students/young professionals to avoid the burden of debt. Many Utahns face barriers that prevent them from forming strong financial habits. Due to a lack of time, access to information, and complexity of financial information many are unprepared for the economic realities they face. For example, presently, 45% of our college students graduate with some form of student debt. This could easily be avoided if students were properly taught, at an early stage, to start investing in their schooling – their livelihoods – their futures. Students who save their own money for college are generally among the most successful and most likely to graduate; it’s a predictor of success. This is because it gives the individual something meaningful to work for and achieve. Lt. Governor Bell has noted that “those who explicitly make resolutions (saving for college) are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. While setting money aside is never easy, saving for college has never been more convenient or necessary.” Postsecondary education is a boundless investment. If saved for and worked for, it can generate both opportunity and a better life.