MAPLE GROVE, MN--(Marketwired - Jul 16, 2013) - According to a study from the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition, 87 percent of teens say parents are their main source of financial education. However, just 26 percent of 13- to 21-year-olds report learning about finances at home.

So how do kids learn to make informed money decisions if they aren't getting the information they need? Enter financial literacy programs like one from the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) -- The Personal Finance Summer Institute for College Readiness.

Twenty ninth- through eleventh-graders from across the Twin Cities were selected through an application process to participate in the first annual MCEE Summer Institute, June 24 through June 28 on the St. Paul campus at the University of Minnesota. The program introduced students to important financial and college readiness topics, including saving, budgeting, credit and paying for college.

As part of the week-long institute, TopLine Federal Credit Union conducted a financial literacy seminar emphasizing goal setting; how to budget; how to make saving a habit; how to divide income into saving, sharing and spending buckets; how to use a checking account and debit card; and how to use credit wisely. TopLine's seminar also outlined for students which kinds of accounts to open; how credit cards work; the difference between good debt and bad debt; and how to protect personal information to avoid identity theft.

"An interesting topic for our students was learning from TopLine about overdrafts -- what really happens when your bank account is overdrawn? When you see how a $12 lunch can add up to $62 after overdraft fees, that really opens a lot of eyes to the importance of money management," says Jane Stockman, associate director, Minnesota Council on Economic Education. "Lessons like these are so important for everyone. If our kids aren't learning about basic financial skills, then it's time for them to get the tools they need to make wise financial decisions throughout their lives. We are thankful for TopLine's participation and other organizations that participated in the week."

"Study after study backs up the facts -- kids who learn about managing savings and checking accounts are more likely to save, create goals, have a budget and have money to make purchases," says Vicki Erickson, assistant vice-president, TopLine Federal Credit Union. "That's why TopLine is committed to programs like this one from the MCEE -- to help build the next generation of well informed consumers and financially savvy adults."

The mission of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) is to provide Minnesotans with the economic and personal financial understanding they need to function effectively in a complex, global environment. For more, visit Funds for Personal Finance Summer Institute for College Readiness were provided by a grant from the federal College Access Challenge Grant Program administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The project was financed by $22,499 in federal funds and in-kind donations from nonfederal sources.

TopLine Federal Credit Union, a Twin Cities-based credit union, is Minnesota's 13th largest, with assets of more than $340 million. Established in 1935, the not-for-profit cooperative offers a complete line of financial services, as well as auto and home insurance, from its five locations -- in Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth and in St. Paul's Como Park -- as well as by phone and online at Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington Counties and their immediate family members.

Contact Information:

Vicki Roscoe Erickson
Assistant Vice-President, Marketing