When it comes to financial literacy in U.S. high schools, the results are missing the benchmark.
A recent report by Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their ability to generate financially literate high school graduates. Only five states received an A, while 26 received a C or lower.
The 2015 National Report Card looked at state requirements as a whole, rather than individual school districts, which is why some states that received a C, D, or F may have schools that offer (or require) personal finance training. Utah was the only state to receive an A+.
“We have reviewed each state’s graduation requirements, educational standards and assessment policies,” the Center reported. “We have reviewed state legislation and rulemaking on personal finance education…and we reached out to state education policy experts for clarification of financial literacy policies and practices during our research.”
Too many students leave high school without ever receiving proper financial education—and those uneducated students may grow into financially uneducated adults.
The 2015 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey found:
•41% of adults gave themselves a C, D, or F when grading their personal finance knowledge.
•29% have not saved anything for retirement.
•34% have no savings.
•60% don’t have a budget.
•24% don’t pay their bills on time.
“Such negative financial outcomes and low levels of consumer knowledge and confidence make it crystal clear that financial literacy in America should be a national priority,” the Center found.
Robert Goldman is a Regional Vice President - Institutional Markets, in the New York Regional Office at Transamerica Retirement Solutions.
He can be reached at Robert.Goldman@transamerica.com.