House approves Kilmer amendment to higher education bill to better help students manage their finances

On Thursday U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer introduced an amendment to connect students with the financial management resources they need to responsibly manage their funds. The amendment was approved by a vote of 404-14 to be included as part of the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984), which passed the House today by a vote of 405-11. The amendment directs universities and the Department of Education to introduce students to the financial management resources provided by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission.

“In order to grow quality jobs and opportunities we need to keep the doors to higher education open for all students,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Those students who are taking on loans to pay for college need access to tools to keep their finances on track.  Empowering more students to better manage their finances will help them succeed, strengthen their household finances, and boost the financial stability of our country.” 


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View Kilmer speaking about his amendment on the House floor here.


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released an assessment in 2012 on the financial literacy skills of students around the world and found that Americans ranked below average. Recently, the Washington Post reported that college graduates in Washington state from the class of 2012 left school with an average debt of $23,293


Congress created The Financial Aid Literacy and Education Commission in 2003 and it was responsible for developing a website to provide financial management resources for all Americans. The website helps consumers better understand financial products, common elements of employment benefit packages, and taxes; offers guidance on how to financially prepare for and respond to major life events; and gives tips on saving, borrowing, and deterring fraud.