Standards for The 411 on College Education
National Standards in Economics
- Students will understand that: Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn primarily depends on the market value of what they produce.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Predict future earnings based on their current plans for education, training, and career options.
National Standards in Financial Literacy
Name: Earning Income
- Students will understand that: Most people earn wage and salary income in return for working, and they can also earn income from interest, dividends, rents, entrepreneurship, business profits, or increases in the value of investments. Employee compensation may also include access to employee benefits such as retirement plans and health insurance. Employers generally pay higher wages and salaries to more educated, skilled, and productive workers. The decision to invest in additional education or training can be made by weighing the benefit of increased income-earning and career potential against the opportunity costs in the form of time, effort, and money. Spendable income is lower than gross income due to taxes assessed on income by federal, state, and local governments.
- Students will understand that: People can choose to invest some of their money in financial assets to achieve long-term financial goals, such as buying a house, funding future education, or securing retirement income. Investors receive a return on their investment in the form of income and/or growth in value of their investment over time. People can more easily achieve their financial goals by investing steadily over many years, reinvesting dividends, and capital gains to compound their returns. Investors have many choices of investments that differ in expected rates of return and risk. Riskier investments tend to earn higher long-run rates of return than lower-risk investments. Investors select investments that are consistent with their risk tolerance, and they diversify across a number of different investment choices to reduce investment risk.
- Students will understand that: People who have sufficient income can choose to save some of it for future uses such as emergencies or later purchases. Savings decisions depend on individual preferences and circumstances. Funds needed for transactions, bill-paying, or purchases, are commonly held in federally insured checking or savings accounts at financial institutions because these accounts offer easy access to their money and low risk. Interest rates, fees, and other account features vary by type of account and between financial institutions, with higher rates resulting in greater compound interest earned by savers.