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Are Today's Students Prepared to Make Financial Decisions? - Wealth 101
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Are Today’s Students Prepared to Make Financial Decisions?

Are Today’s Students Prepared to Make Financial Decisions?

Are Today's Students Prepared to Make Financial Decisions?

Using data from a study by financial literacy non-profit Next Gen Personal Finance, it’s clear that the vast majority of students in the U.S. are not required to learn these basic skills and concepts – and things are particularly worse off in lower-income communities.

Access to Financial Literacy

After analyzing data from high schools representing over 85% of all students, the main conclusions of the study were as follows:

  • Only 16.4% of U.S. students are required to take a personal finance course to graduate high school.
  • Five states do have a personal finance requirement: Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.
  • But outside of these states, the proportion of students with a personal finance requirement drops to 8.6%.
  • Meanwhile, only 5.5% of low income schools (outside of mandate states) have personal finance as a requirement.

Why is this important?

To understand why financial literacy is important, look no further than the most recent grad class: millennials.

With $1.45 trillion in student debt, millennials find themselves in a tough spot to begin with – but 45% regret even taking out loans to that extent in the first place. At the same time, only 24% of the generation demonstrates “basic” financial knowledge, while 70% are already stressed about saving for retirement.

A better financial education could definitely help change some of these figures, whether it is through schools, or through vastly improved online resources that students access on their own volition.

Jeff Desjardins

Jeff is the Editor-in-Chief of Visual Capitalist, a media site that creates and curates visuals on business and investing. He has been quoted or featured on Business Insider, Forbes, MarketWatch, The Huffington Post, The World Economic Forum, and Fast Company.

2 Comments
  • Theresa Gray

    This is a great visual. There are so many people who are lost and don’t know that they are lost!
    I want to write a blog post and include this information (by posting a link to this site).
    Please let me know if that is ok.

    March 11, 2018 at 11:37 pm Reply

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