The State Department of Higher Education says an important part of a college or university education is the education students and their parents should get before enrolling. The department thinks financial literacy is an important part of today’s higher education experience. It’s why it has set up programs for students as young as middle school to help them prepare for the cost of post-secondary education.

The Department’s Leanne Cardwell is the assistant commissioner for Missouri student loan programs. She has several audiences: high school students, high school counselors and teachers, the people who train the trainers, college students and graduates, and potential loan defaulters.

The department says it’s important that high school students and their parents look for grants, scholarships, and work study programs they can get before they start borrowing money—and to borrow only as much as they need. One other key consideration: is for the student to be academically prepared for costs are not increased by extra time spent on remedial courses or additional time while they figure out what they want to study.

Leanne Cardwell & BP discuss financial literacy 19:58 mp3