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Should more states require high schoolers take personal finance courses?

School children in high school class
Posted at 12:56 PM, Aug 03, 2022

How to manage credit cards and file taxes are things we all should know but many Americans don't.

It's an issue some states are working to address.

Nearly 1 in 4 2022 high school graduates took a standalone personal finance course, according to the group Next-Gen Personal Finance, a 6% jump from 20-18.

“It’s our jobs as educators to make sure student has access to make those real-life decisions,” said Leigh Martin, a professor at Clemson University.

Her state, South Carolina, is the latest to guarantee high schoolers courses on how to manage money.

Right now, more than a dozen states require students to pass a financial literacy course before graduating. The push is gaining traction across the country, with the pandemic, and current state of the economy, providing inspiration.

“It’s my understanding that even national organizations, such as the national council of teachers and mathematics, espouse the importance of financial literacy for all students,” Martin said.

Despite recent gains in financial education, martin said gaps still exist.

"I think there are opportunities to connect some of these skills in topics you're already talking about in some of your math classes, at least in terms of the practicality of what you're doing,” Martin said.

Next-Gen Personal Finance said there are financial literacy bills up for consideration in five states.