The Gaps in High School Financial Education Courses

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In 2022, only 22.2% of high school students were required to take a personal finance course.

Three states have a 100% course requirement. These are Mississippi, Missouri, and Virginia. Florida has one of the lowest participation rates but has begun implementing a state-wide requirement.

Outside of the six states with near fully implemented requirements, only 9.3% of students in America have guaranteed access to a financial education course.

This data is from an article in Visual Capitalist, published on May 17, 2022.

What is financial education?

Coursework can range from the very practical tasks of managing a checking and savings account to subjects such as budgeting, differences in stocks and bonds, and even understanding the filing of taxes.

Credit unions were founded with education as a core value. Financial education is key to financial literacy. A lack of financial literacy is a major factor in delinquency and low credit scores.

Credit unions, especially those serving schools, have pioneered classes for adult education. Many offer accounts for children of family members. Education credit unions have established student branches as a means of giving students hands-on practice with real money transactions.

Need and co-op capability align

Credit unions, especially those serving schools, have pioneered classes for financial education. Many offer accounts for children of family members. Education credit unions have established student branches as a means of giving students hands-on practice with real money transactions.

The article’s graphic and data clearly show there is much to be done. This is an ever-present student need and a credit union skill. Expanding access to financial education is a legislative priority with 48 bills pending in 18 states.

Moreover, adults support this school-based effort as statistics suggest that up to a third of parents never discuss personal finances with their children. Many parents wish they had been required to take a course themselves.

Becoming a resource for high school classes on financial education is an example of cooperative priorities visible to the next generation of members who are essential to sustaining the movement.

Author

  • Chip Filson

    A nationally recognized leader in the credit union industry, Filson is an astute author, frequent speaker, and consultant for the credit union movement. He has more than 40 years of experience in government, financial institutions, and business. Chip co-founded Callahan and Associates. Filson has held concurrent positions at the NCUA as president of the Central Liquidity Facility and Director of the Office of Programs, which includes the NCUSIF and the examination process. He holds a magna cum laude undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University. After being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he earned a master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University in England. He also holds an MBA in management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School in Chicago.

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