Is Your State Making the Grade?

The Center for Financial Literacy logoChamplain College's Center for Financial Literacy, using national data, has graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) on their efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates. What the grading shows is that we have a long way to go before we are a financially literate nation.

In this 2015 report card, we attempt to measure how well our high schools are providing personal finance education. Although there have been improvements made over the past few years, more can be done. When it comes to report cards, everyone wants an A. But when the Center graded 50 states and D.C. on their financial literacy education, only five states earned an A.

Sadly, 26 states received grades of C, D or F. Less than half were given grades that you would want your children to bring home from school—grades A or B, and 29% had grades of D or F.

View or download the complete National Report Card on State Efforts To Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools [PDF].

Click on the states in the map and look below to see if they made the grade!

Map: Grade Color Key

US Map Demo - Champlain College

Click on a state to view its grade for Financial Literacy Education.

Alabama

  • Grade: A
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, starting with the Class of 2017, Alabama requires that all high school students take a one-year career preparedness course. This course can be taught in Grades 9–12, however, the state Department of Education recommends that students take the course in Grade 9. See: Alabama High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The career preparedness course has 23 standards of which 13 cover personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 68 hours of instruction in personal finance, which is the equivalent of a one-semester personal finance course. See: Alabama Career Preparedness Standards.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Alabama measures student achievement in financial literacy. Personal finance concepts are most relevant after a student graduates from high school when they are thrust into a situation where they must manage their daily living expenses. Recommending that students take a course of this nature in Grade 9 is not optimal, since knowledge obtained will fade over time. The Grade 9 students will not use much of what they learn until many years after the instruction is completed.

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Alaska

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course. Alaska high school students must earn a minimum of 21 credits with three credits in social studies. See: Alaska High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Alaska does not have any personal finance standards. Alaska has economics concepts in the government and citizenship standards, but these standards do not include personal finance concepts. Alaska’s employability standards also lack personal finance concepts. For all standards see: Alaska's Academic Standards.

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Arizona

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, beginning with the Class of 2012, Arizona has required high school students to complete a half-year course in economics. See: Arizona Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The economics course standards in Arizona consist of five high-level concepts that must be taught, one of which is personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 12 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Arizona Social Studies Standards. In 2013, the Arizona legislature passed a law requiring academic standards for social studies to include personal finance concepts. This law notes that the State Board of Education (Board) is not authorized to require a separate personal finance course as a graduation requirement. The law allows local school districts to prescribe a separate personal finance course that is in addition to or higher than the personal finance course of study and competency requirements that the Board requires. See: Arizona Education Statute.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Arizona measures student achievement in financial literacy.

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Arkansas

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, as part of the Smart Core curriculum, Arkansas requires high school students to complete a half-year course in economics for graduation. Depending on the teacher’s licensure, it can count as a social studies credit or career focus credit. See: Arkansas High School Graduation Requirements (see pages 6–10).
  • Education Standards: Two out of nine strands in the economics standards focus on personal finance concepts. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 13 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Arkansas Social Studies Standards
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Arkansas measures student achievement in financial literacy.

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California

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course, and schools are not required to offer financial literacy courses. Graduation from high school in California requires students to take three years of social science, including U.S. history and geography; world history, culture and geography; one semester of American government; and one semester of economics. See: California Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: California educational content standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. These content standards do not include personal finance concepts that high school students must learn. See: California Content Standards. Curriculum frameworks offer local districts guidance for implementing content standards. California’s curriculum frameworks describe the curriculum and instruction necessary to help students achieve proficiency, and they specify the design of instructional materials. These frameworks are tools that local school districts may use but they are not required. See: California Frameworks and also see: California Financial Literacy and Mathematics. Pursuant to a California 2013 law, frameworks (but not the content standards) in social sciences, health and mathematics are required to be updated to include financial literacy concepts, but such concepts are not required to be taught by local school districts (the law requires textbook updates). California does not mandate specific textbooks to be used at high school but does for grades K–8. The California Education Code requires that local districts adopt textbooks aligned to the state content standards. See: California Education Code related to Textbooks. The California Department of Education recommends a ninth-grade elective course in personal finance be offered, but local districts are not required to offer such a course. Recommending that students take a course of this nature in Grade 9 is not optimal, since knowledge will fade over time. The Grade 9 students will not use much of what they learn until many years after the instruction is completed.
  • Extra Credit: California Department of Education offers educators a robust list of financial literacy resources. See: California Grades K–12 Financial Literacy Resources.

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Colorado

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. See: Colorado High School Graduation Local District Guidelines.
  • Education Standards: Colorado academic standards include a Personal Financial Literacy Expectations Addendum to social studies and mathematics standards. See: Colorado Personal Finance Standards. Local district graduation policies must align with the Colorado academic standards. Colorado law requires each school district to revise its curricula to ensure that it includes financial literacy in the district’s programs of study, and that each district adopts assessments that are aligned with the financial literacy standards. A district may include assessment of financial literacy standards within assessments that address standards in other subject areas. See: Colorado Revised Statute (4 (b)).
  • Assessments: Colorado is using assessments to determine if graduates are qualified to graduate. High school students are given assessments in mathematics and social studies prior to graduation. It is our understanding that these assessments include a modest level of questions related to personal finance concepts. Economic concepts represent 22% of the social studies assessment and approximately half of these are personal finance topics. Based on that information, we estimate that about 11% of the social studies assessment exam is personal finance in nature. See: Colorado Social Studies Assessment Criteria (page 3). We have been informed that the mathematics assessments are being revised and some modest portion of this assessment will also include personal finance concepts.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Colorado monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement. And, since the social studies and mathematics assessments include relatively few questions related to personal finance, the assessments may not provide an accurate snapshot of the quality and quantity of the content being delivered.
  • Extra Credit: Colorado law requires the Colorado Department of Education to provide online financial literacy resources for teachers and school districts. See: Colorado Financial Literacy Resources.

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Connecticut

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course. And personal finance is not required to be offered or taken. See: Connecticut High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The Connecticut Department of Education has developed financial literacy education frameworks to assist educators in developing courses to include personal finance. See: Connecticut Personal Finance Education Frameworks.
  • Extra Credit: In 2015, Connecticut implemented a law that requires the State Board of Education to make available financial literacy curriculum, other materials and assistance to local and regional school districts. These tools are to be designed by three education-related state entities. See: Connecticut Enabling Legislation SB 319. Since 2007, Connecticut legislators have introduced more than 10 bills in an attempt to bring financial literacy into their schools. Through a memorandum of understanding with the Banking Department, the State Department of Education has received funding since 2008 to add personal finance as online and/or traditional courses in Connecticut high schools. The department uses the funding to provide annual competitive grants to school districts. The grants must be used in a manner consistent with this requirement. Jump$tart Connecticut research found that 90% of Connecticut high schools offer a personal finance course, but less than 7% require students to take a course in personal finance for graduation. See: Connecticut Jump$tart Report.

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Delaware

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course. Students are required to take a specific number of social studies courses and career pathway courses. See: Delaware High School Graduation Requirements (scroll to section 4.0).
  • Education Standards: Delaware has standards in place for personal finance education. See: Delaware Personal Finance Standards and click on “High School Personal Finance Standards.”
  • Extra Credit: In 2009, a law was passed that created the Financial Literacy Education Fund. The law requires businesses making short-term consumer loans (payday loans) and car title loans to pay an annual high-cost loan license fee surcharge into the fund of $1,500 for each licensed office. The fund provides grants to school or other organizations for K–12 Financial Literacy programs. The fund is in its fifth round of grants. See: Delaware Financial Literacy Education Fund.

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District of Columbia

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course. Four credits are required in social studies, but none of them includes any personal finance concepts. See: District of Columbia High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There is no personal finance content in the social studies standards; however, economics is included as an elective. See: District of Columbia Social Studies Standards.

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Florida

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, a half-year course in economics is a graduation requirement for all high school students. The economics course is required to include personal finance concepts. See: Florida High School Graduation Requirements (3(d)).
  • Education Standards: The high school social studies curriculum standards consist of 34 content standards for economics and 56 content standards for financial literacy. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 37 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Florida Economics Standards and search for Social Studies, 9–12 grades, financial literacy.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Florida measures student achievement in financial literacy.

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Georgia

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, high school students in Georgia are required to take a half-year course in economics for graduation. See: Georgia High School Graduation Requirements (page 5).
  • Education Standards: The economics course has 22 standards and six of these standards are personal finance in nature. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 16 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Georgia Economics Standards. Georgia requires statewide end-of-course assessments on all of their core high school courses, including economics. We received confirmation from the offices of Curriculum & Instruction and Assessment that the economics assessment includes questions related to personal finance. See: Georgia High School Assessments.
  • Caveat: Based on the economics course standards, we estimate that approximately 27% of the assessment questions are personal finance in nature. However, we are unable to determine if this level of assessment provides Georgia with an accurate and meaningful measurement of the quality and quantity of the personal finance education being delivered to students.

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Hawaii

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course, and schools are not required to offer financial literacy courses. Four credits are required in social studies, but none of them include a specific course in personal finance. See: Hawaii High School Graduation Requirements 2016+.
  • Education Standards: Hawaii has not revised its social studies standards since 2005, although they will be updating them over the next year. There are currently three strands of economics, but no personal finance topics are included. See: Hawaii Social Studies Standards (pages 148-149). The planned updates for 2015 present an opportunity to include personal finance standards.
  • Extra Credit: In the 2010 legislative session, Hawaii created the Financial Literacy Education and Asset Building Task Force, which made a variety of recommendations. For the full report, see: Hawaii Task Force Final Report.

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Idaho

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Idaho requires high school students to complete a half-year course in economics for graduation. See: Idaho High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The economics course standards are composed of 16 learning objectives, three of which are personal finance concepts. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 11 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Idaho Economics Content Standards and click on Content by Grade, 9th – 12th Econ, and search Goal 3.4: “Explain the concepts of good personal finance” (page 3).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Idaho measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: The Idaho Department of Finance hosts an extensive online resource of educational links on financial literacy topics. See: Idaho Department of Finance Resources.

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Illinois

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Illinois requires high school students to take a nine-week course in consumer education. See: Illinois High School Graduation Requirements (see page 11).
  • Education Standards: Specifically, the graduation requirements state that each student shall be required to take consumer education for 50 minutes per day for a period of nine weeks in any of grades 9–12. According to Illinois graduation requirements, nine weeks is equal to one-quarter of a full academic year. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 30–38 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Illinois Consumer Education Proficiency Standards.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Illinois measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: Illinois has created a financial literacy fund in the state treasury. The money will be used to defray the costs of professional development in financial literacy for teachers, reward schools, students and/or teachers who achieve outstanding results in personal finance, and other financial literacy education activities. See: Illinois Financial Literacy Fund.

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Indiana

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. However, Indiana high school students must meet the financial literacy education standards prior to graduation. Indiana allows each school district to determine how they will provide that instruction. See: Indiana High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: In 2009, Indiana required schools to incorporate into their curriculum (in grades 6 through 12) instruction in personal financial responsibility. See: Indiana Code. By the end of 12th grade, every student should have met the Financial Literacy Education (FLE) High School Standards. Schools may prepare their students to be proficient in the FLE High School Standards through instruction in business education, family and consumer sciences, or other subject areas if those are not available. The Department of Education created guidelines to help local school districts provide opportunities for students to receive financial literacy education by integrating it within its curriculum or by conducting a seminar that is designed to foster overall personal financial responsibility. See: Indiana Financial Literacy Standards and Guidelines for Schools Including Personal Finance.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Indiana measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: Professional development is provided for financial literacy teachers and teachers may use nationally recognized standards and curriculum units. See: Indiana Teacher Resources. Indiana University hosted the National Summit on Collegiate Financial Wellness in June 2015.

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Iowa

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. See: Iowa High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The Iowa Core contains Iowa’s statewide academic standards. Financial literacy standards are part of the Iowa Core’s 21st Century Skills and are applicable for every grade in high school. See: Iowa Financial Literacy Standards.
  • Caveat: Schools are expected to include Iowa Core 21st Century Skills and other 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. Local school districts determine how and where to integrate these topics into the classroom. It is not clear how Iowa measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: In September 2014, the Iowa Financial Literacy Work Team Report was released with eight specific recommendations. The report indicates that an increased emphasis on implementation of existing financial literacy standards is needed and that additional resources should be provided to educators and schools to help them achieve full implementation of these standards. The work team was opposed to the creation of a financial literacy course or high school graduation requirement in this area. The report notes that the Department of Education does not currently collect data around the implementation of the financial literacy standards, and that there is no way to monitor implementation in this topic area. The report includes many excellent recommendations that would help increase the quality of financial literacy instruction in Iowa classrooms. The governor and state officials convened a summit on financial literacy that targets middle and high school students in an effort to help reduce their college debt and avoid credit card problems after high school graduation. See: Iowa Financial Literacy Summit.

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Kansas

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. See: Kansas High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: While the graduation requirements specify that concepts of economics be taught, no specific course is identified. Local districts determine how to deliver the content. The economics standards include seven strands, one of which is personal finance. Specific content included in these standards is not mandated but is made available as suggested content to “assist in the planning of lessons and units.” By leaving the course selection to the local districts, it is impossible to know how high school students in Kansas are taught these required concepts of economics. See: Kansas Standards for History Government and Social Studies.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Kansas monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement. While Kansas law states that “The state board of education shall include questions relating to personal financial literacy in the statewide assessments for mathematics or social studies,” it appears that the assessments as they relate to personal finance are modest in nature. Therefore, it would be difficult for the assessments to provide an accurate snapshot of the quality and quantity of the personal finance content being delivered. See: Kansas Law Requiring Assessments to Include Personal Finance and search “e”.
  • Extra Credit: The Kansas State Board of Education wrote a letter to the superintendents of all the local education districts urging them to include personal finance in their required curriculum for all high school students. They suggest ways for districts to provide instruction in these concepts. See: Kansas State Board of Education Letter. According to the letter, the state board will monitor course offerings and the Kansas State Department of Education will provide a progress report to the legislature next year.

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Kentucky

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, Kentucky does not require school districts to offer a stand-alone personal finance course, nor is it embedded in a course required for graduation. See: Kentucky High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The Kentucky Academic Standards contain the minimum required standards that all Kentucky students should have the opportunity to learn before graduating from Kentucky high schools. The standards address what is to be learned but do not address how learning experiences are to be designed or what resources should be used. That is left to local school districts to decide. Kentucky requires high school students to obtain vocational studies instruction, which includes personal finance concepts. See: Kentucky Academic Standards (pages 557 to 565). Kentucky requires three credits in social studies, which include an economics strand, but this strand does not include personal finance concepts.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Kentucky measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: Kentucky has a Web page that provides resources for teachers who are teaching financial literacy topics as required by the high school vocational studies standards. Financial literacy topics are integrated into the states K–12 practical living/vocational studies standards. See: Kentucky Financial Literacy Resources.

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Louisiana

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Louisiana requires that high school students take a half-year course in civics with a section on free enterprise. See: Louisiana High School Graduation Requirements (see page 4).
  • Education Standards: The half-year civics course has eight standards, one of which is in financial literacy. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately seven and a half hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Louisiana Civics Standards.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Louisiana measures student achievement in financial literacy. Based on the current graduation requirements, for students starting high school in 2014–2015, civics with a section on free enterprise will no longer be a course required for graduation but could be offered as a social studies class option. Depending on how this new requirement is implemented, in any future report card, Louisiana is likely to have its grade reduced to either a C, D or F. See: Louisiana Administrative Code (search for Title 28, Part CXV, page 55).

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Maine

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Maine requires students take two years of social studies and history, including American history, government, civics and personal finance. These subjects may be provided to students in a separate or integrated study basis. See: Maine High School Graduation Requirements (2B) and Maine Proficiency Requirements (section 4).
  • Education Standards: Local school districts determine whether to teach personal finance as a separate course or to integrate the topic into other courses. Local school districts can offer students multiple pathways to meet the personal finance requirement, and such options can include courses that are not social studies in nature. See: Maine Department of Education Announcement about Financial Literacy. Instruction hours cannot be estimated since each school district selects how they will meet the personal finance education requirement. Maine provides national prototypes of personal finance education standards from the Council for Economic Education and the Jump$tart Coalition for local school districts and educators to use. See: Maine’s National Social Studies Standards and Framework.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Maine measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: In 2013, a law was passed requiring the Commissioner of Education to review the standards for personal finance during the next five-year review process starting in the 2015–2016 school year. See: Maine Legislation to Review Personal Finance Standards. Maine makes a range of nationally recognized financial literacy resources available to educators. See: Maine Financial Literacy Resources. Since 2013, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation has made a $500 gift available to every child born in Maine through the establishment of a college savings fund in that child’s name.

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Maryland

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, personal finance must be taught in elementary, middle and high school. See: Maryland Personal Financial Literacy Regulation. Local school districts are allowed to determine how these topics should be integrated into the curriculum. As of 2014, seven districts require a stand-alone personal finance course for graduation, while the remaining 17 districts embed personal finance concepts into courses required for graduation. In most of the 17 districts, personal finance is embedded in a required U.S. history or government class. See: Maryland Financial Literacy Education Report 2014.
  • Education Standards: Maryland regulation requires all local school districts to align the required financial literacy instruction with the curriculum developed by the Maryland Department of Education. See: The Maryland State Curriculum for Personal Financial Literacy Education. Hours of instruction cannot be estimated since each school district determines how they will deliver the required personal finance education, and implementation methods vary by local school district.
  • Caveats: According to the Maryland Department of Education, all 24 school districts require personal finance to be taught either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course. However, it appears that these requirements were not fully implemented for the Class of 2014 because the same report includes a survey of seniors asking who “received instruction on managing personal finances” and only 50% of the respondents recalled that instruction. However, based on the above referenced report, we anticipate the survey findings to improve in future years as this requirement is fully implemented. It is not clear how Maryland measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: Maryland has appointed a financial literacy education advisory council tasked with implementing and monitoring personal financial literacy education throughout the public schools. This council, working with the Department of Education, researches and tracks the implementation and effectiveness of the local education agencies’ delivery of the standards. See: Maryland Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council.

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Massachusetts

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course, and schools are not required to offer financial literacy courses. The MassCore, which is the state’s recommendation for subjects to be taken prior to graduation, does not specify economics or personal finance. See: Massachusetts Masscore recommendations.
  • Education Standards: Massachusetts has curriculum frameworks for social studies, and they include a framework for a 12th-grade elective in economics. However, there are no personal finance concepts included in the curriculum framework. See: Massachusetts Social Studies Framework (pages 81–84).
  • Extra Credit: In 2015, the State Treasurer announced the creation of a Financial Literacy Task Force whose goal will be to improve the financial literacy of all Massachusetts residents with an emphasis on students in grades K–12. See: Massachusetts Treasurer’s Task Force. The Massachusetts Treasurer’s Office has a Financial Literacy Trust Fund that supports financial literacy for residents and organizations throughout the state. See: Massachusetts Financial Literacy Trust Fund. In 2012, the state legislature established a Financial Literacy Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on the development of a 3-year financial literacy pilot program for high schools in gateway municipalities. In 2013, grants were awarded to 10 high schools to pilot innovative personal finance programs. See: Massachusetts Financial Literacy Innovation Grants. The advisory committee will evaluate the success of the high school pilot program and will issue a report on the effectiveness of the program after its first three years of implementation. Since 2005, Massachusetts legislators have introduced more than 20 bills that attempt to have financial literacy taught in the state’s schools. So far, none of these bills has been passed by the state legislature.

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Michigan

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Michigan requires that high school students take a half-year economics course for graduation. See: Michigan Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There are four high-level economics “expectations” or standards, which consist of 44 specific sub-standards. Personal finance is one of these economics standards and contains six specific sub-standards. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately eight hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Michigan Social Studies Standards (pages 68–71).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Michigan measures student achievement in financial literacy.

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Minnesota

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Minnesota requires that high school students take a half-year course in economics. See: Minnesota Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Minnesota implemented new social studies standards in 2013–2014. Personal finance is now embedded in an economics course required for graduation. There are 34 economics education benchmarks, five of which are personal finance in nature. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately nine hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Minnesota Social Studies Standards (2011 standards, pages 12, 108–117).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Minnesota measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: Minnesota’s Commissioner of Commerce convened the Minnesota Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group in 2012, bringing together 10 state agencies that have existing programs, outreach efforts or policy interests in financial literacy. The Work Group is focused on expanding opportunities for Minnesotans to improve their financial literacy. See: Minnesota Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group.

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Mississippi

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No. Taking a course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. There are four different pathways to a high school diploma. In the traditional pathway option, students are required to take a half-year class in economics as part of the social studies mandate. For all four pathways, see: Mississippi High School Graduation Requirements. Personal finance must be offered as an elective course in Mississippi high schools. The 2014 Public School Accountability Standards allows a half-year course in financial technology, or resource management or national endowment for personal finance to be offered in lieu of a half-semester course in personal finance. See: Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards (see Appendix B).
  • Education Standards: Mississippi has created a Business and Technology educational framework for the Personal Finance elective course. See: Mississippi Business and Technology Framework.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Mississippi monitors school district implementation of these personal finance education requirements or how they measure student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: In 2014, Mississippi passed a law authorizing the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance to establish programs for the education of the public with respect to financial literacy. See: Mississippi Financial Literacy Public Education. Mississippi is one of only two states in the U.S. that requires personal finance to be offered as an elective, which guarantees that all students have access to these topics.

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Missouri

  • Grade: A
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, high school students in Missouri are required to take either a half-year course in personal finance or a half-year of personal finance instruction embedded in a full-year course of social studies or practical arts. See: Missouri High School Graduation Requirements (page 5). However, we are unable to confirm if the full-year course allocates half of its content to personal finance instruction.
  • Education Standards: The standards for the personal finance course are robust. See: Missouri Personal Finance (click on link to “personal finance competencies”).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Missouri monitors school district implementation of these personal finance education requirements. Missouri created an assessment on financial literacy at no cost to the districts. Students who take their personal finance embedded in either social studies or practical arts are required to take the assessments, and the local district determines the pass rate. The assessment is optional for students choosing to take personal finance as a stand-alone elective. Students are also given the option of “testing out” of the personal finance course requirement if they obtain a score of 90% or higher on the assessment exam. However, we are unable to determine if the assessment provides Missouri with an accurate and meaningful measurement of the quality and quantity of the personal finance education being delivered to students.
  • Extra Credit: Personal finance assessment requirements as well as teaching resources are available at the following site: Missouri Personal Finance Assessments Details.

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Montana

  • Grade: D
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, personal finance is not included in the graduation requirements either as a stand-alone course or embedded in another course, and schools are not required to offer financial literacy courses. See: Montana High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Montana requires students to take two years of social studies but does not identify specific social studies courses to be taken. The social studies content standards indicate what all students should know when they graduate. They consist of six content standards that are made up of 36 benchmarks. The economics content standards consist of six benchmarks. One of these benchmarks (or 3% of all social studies benchmarks) includes personal finance concepts. See: Montana Social Studies Standards (page 6).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Montana measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.

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Nebraska

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. Nebraska requires students to take 30 credit hours of social studies, which includes economics concepts. Local districts determine how they want to deliver the content. See: Nebraska High School Graduation Requirements (pages 4–5).
  • Education Standards: Nebraska has adopted social studies standards that include economic concepts. Approximately one-third of these economics standards are personal finance in nature. The economics standards required to be taught at the local district level must include these personal finance concepts. Local districts are required to have standards that are the same as, equal to, or more rigorous than, the state social study standards. See: Nebraska Social Studies Standards (pages 8–16).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how the Nebraska Department of Education ensures that personal finance education is actually delivered in an effective manner at the local school district level and how student achievement in this area is measured.
  • Extra Credit: The Nebraska Treasurer’s office has launched an initiative to promote financial literacy education for high school students. See: Nebraska Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Initiative. Nebraska’s Department of Education has created links that are tied to their standards for teachers to use in their classrooms. See: Nebraska Financial Literacy Resource.

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Nevada

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. The state does mandate financial literacy topics be taught in high school but leaves it up to the local districts to specify how the content will be provided. See: Nevada High School Financial Literacy Requirement (scroll to NRS 389.074).
  • Education Standards: The same rule specifies the minimum content required to be taught; see: Nevada High School Financial Literacy Requirement. The Nevada Department of Education provides guidance for teachers; see: Nevada Financial Literacy Guidance. This document states that it “is not policy nor is it meant to be a curriculum guide, rather, it is a tool to aid school districts in the implementation of the law requiring instruction in financial literacy.” It also suggests that financial literacy content could be provided via accounting and finance, business management, entrepreneurship, family and consumer sciences, economics and civics courses.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Nevada measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: The Nevada Department of education provides an extensive list of financial literacy resources; see: Nevada Financial Literacy Standards and click on “High School Student Resource List.”

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New Hampshire

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, New Hampshire requires that all high school students take a half-year course in economics in order to graduate. See: New Hampshire High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There are six standards of economics for grades 9–12 and one of those standards covers personal finance topics. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 10 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: New Hampshire Social Studies Standards (pages 81–86).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how New Hampshire measures student achievement in financial literacy.

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New Jersey

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, New Jersey requires students to complete a half-year course in financial, economic and entrepreneurial literacy or to complete one or more electives that integrate the required content and skills. See: New Jersey High School Graduation Requirements (pages 29–30) and New Jersey Financial Literacy Q&A.
  • Education Standards: There is one standard for each discipline area (financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial). Based on this information, we estimate that students may receive approximately 15 hours of personal finance instruction. See: New Jersey Personal Finance Standards (“FAQ”). Hours of instruction cannot be estimated for all students since each local school district determines how they will deliver the required personal finance education, and implementation methods vary by local school districts.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how New Jersey measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: The New Jersey School Board Association surveyed school districts to find out how they were delivering the personal finance concepts, with nearly half of the responding districts stating that they are offering a stand-alone financial literacy course. See: New Jersey Survey on Personal Finance Implementation.

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New Mexico

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. See: New Mexico High School Graduation Requirements. However, personal finance must be offered as an elective. The personal finance elective can be offered as a social studies, family and consumer sciences, business, or mathematics elective. See: New Mexico High School Graduation Requirements Statute (I (7)).
  • Education Standards: New Mexico includes some personal finance concepts in the economics strand of its social studies standards. See: New Mexico Social Studies Standards. Districts may meet their personal finance elective requirement through offering an online course.
  • Caveat: Specific personal finance standards for the required elective course were not on the public education website. It is not clear how New Mexico measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: The New Mexico General Services Department sought proposals to provide financial literacy education to students throughout New Mexico in 2015. See: New Mexico Grant Details for Financial Literacy Education. New Mexico is one of only two states in the U.S. that requires that personal finance be offered as an elective, which guarantees that all students have access to these topics.

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New York

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, New York state requires students to take a half-year course in economics to graduate. See: New York Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Schools are encouraged to administer the economics requirement through a course titled: Economics, the Enterprise System and Finance. This course has four standards, one of which includes personal finance content. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 15 hours of personal finance instruction. See the social studies standards in the New York Social Studies Framework (Grades 9–12, pages 49–50).
  • Caveat: This grading is based on the assumption that the vast majority of schools teach and require the recommended course. However, we are aware that there could be exceptions in schools that offer an economics course that does not include personal finance. It is not clear how New York measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: A recent bill was signed into law requiring teenagers participating in the New York state summer youth employment program to study personal finance.

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North Carolina

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, North Carolina requires high school students to take a half-year course in civics and economics to graduate. See: North Carolina Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There are 10 standards in the civics and economics course, two of them pertain to personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 12 hours of personal finance instruction. See: North Carolina Civics and Economics Standards (pages 25–31).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how North Carolina measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: North Carolina’s Department of State Treasurer has launched a program called Futures, which provides financial educational opportunities for North Carolinians of all ages. See: North Carolina Futures Program. The Department of Public Instruction has also created a website that provides financial literacy resources. See: North Carolina Teacher Resource Website.

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North Dakota

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, North Dakota requires that students take either a full-year course in problems of democracy or a half-year course in government, plus a half-year course in economics to graduate. Individual school districts may require a stand-alone personal finance course in lieu of including personal finance in the aforementioned courses. See: North Dakota High School Graduation Requirements (page 2).
  • Education Standards: North Dakota requires each school district to ensure that its curriculum for either economics or problems of democracy includes personal finance concepts. However, we cannot find curriculum standards for these two courses on the Academic Content Standards list maintained by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s website and, therefore, are unable to estimate the number of hours students are required to receive instruction on personal finance concepts. See: North Dakota Rule on Personal Finance (page 11).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how North Dakota measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.

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Ohio

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Ohio requires that students be provided with instruction in financial literacy. Specific courses in which the personal finance concepts are included are left to each district to determine. See: Ohio High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There are 25 content statements in Ohio’s economics and financial literacy curriculum. Fifteen of those strands include personal finance concepts. Assuming a local school district implements the proposed half-year course in personal finance and economics, we expect that those students will receive 36 hours of personal finance instruction. See: Ohio Economic and Financial Literacy Learning Standards (page 17). Also see: Ohio’s Financial Literacy Requirements and Ohio’s Proposed Financial Literacy Standards. Hours of instruction cannot be estimated for all students, since each local school district determines how they will deliver the required personal finance education, and implementation methods vary by local school districts.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Ohio measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: In 2008, the Ohio Department of Commerce created a financial literacy fund, which provides support for adult education throughout Ohio. See: Ohio Financial Literacy Grant Fund. Ohio has developed regional, university-based centers for economic education that are available to assist with professional development and related resources. See: Ohio University Based Centers for Economic Education.

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Oklahoma

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. Oklahoma requires students to demonstrate competency in 14 areas of personal finance. Local school districts determine when these topics are taught and whether these topics are integrated into existing courses or taught as a separate course. See: Oklahoma High School Graduation Proficiency Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Oklahoma has a passport approach to graduation requirements, which apply to students in grades 7–12. The passport method allows school districts to determine which grades and which courses they will embed the personal finance standards in. They could be embedded in a variety of courses from 7th to 12th grades. See: Oklahoma Passport.
  • Caveat: Since the passport requirements apply to 7th through 12th grades, local districts could include personal finance concepts in middle school and/or the early years of high school. Personal finance concepts are most relevant after a student graduates from high school when they are thrust into situations in which they must manage their daily living expenses. Recommending that students take a course of this nature earlier than Grades 11–12 is not optimal, since knowledge obtained will fade over time. Additionally, it is not clear how Oklahoma measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: Oklahoma provides resources online for districts and teachers to refer to. See: Oklahoma Personal Financial Literacy Resource and Standards and Oklahoma Personal Finance Teacher and Student Resources.

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Oregon

  • Grade: C
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. Oregon requires three credits of social studies for graduation but does not identify required courses. See: Oregon High School Graduation Requirement.
  • Education Standards: Oregon has identified competencies that are required for graduation for each subject area, including social studies. Personal finance standards are included in the social studies standards. So, while there are no specific courses required, there is an expectation that students are competent in these areas prior to graduation. See: Oregon Social Studies Standards (page 17 of high school standards).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Oregon measures student achievement in financial literacy, since the social studies assessment is optional, or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.
  • Extra Credit: Financial literacy educational standards apply from kindergarten through 12th grade. Personal finance concepts are included in the statewide social studies assessment, but the assessment is optional for local districts. See: Oregon Assessments Statute.

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Pennsylvania

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, Pennsylvania does not require specific courses for graduation. The state does require assessments, which students must pass in order to demonstrate competency in key areas, but the assessments do not include courses that teach personal finance concepts. See: Pennsylvania State Code for High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Pennsylvania’s academic standards describe what students should know and be able to do, particularly with regard to the competency areas that are assessed by the state. The Pennsylvania Academic Standards website gives you access to economics; family and consumer sciences; career education and work; and business, computer, and information technology high school standards. All of these standards include some level of personal finance concepts. These courses may be offered as electives or as courses required for graduation as determined by each local school district.
  • Caveat: According to a governmental report, only 38 (or 7.6%) of the state‘s 500 school districts require students to take a course in personal finance before graduation. See: Pennsylvania 2013 Report to the Governor on Personal Finance Education in PA.
  • Extra Credit: Pennsylvania passed a law in 2010 requiring the Department of Education (DOE) to disseminate economic education and personal financial literacy curriculum materials to public and private schools and to develop a clearinghouse of these resources on its website. See: Pennsylvania Economic Education and Financial Literacy. A separate fund was created to support the implementation of this program. The legislation required the DOE to recognize schools that implement exemplary economic and personal financial literacy programs. In 2010, state law also established the Pennsylvania Task Force on Economic Education and Personal Finance Education. The Pennsylvania Task Force Report contains many useful findings and recommendations. That same law also required the DOE and the Department of Banking and Securities to issue a biennial report to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding the status of economic and personal finance education in Pennsylvania schools, and to review current programs and initiatives and make recommendations for future program needs. For example, according to the 2013 report, 28% of Pennsylvania high school students take a course devoted to economics or personal finance. See: Pennsylvania 2013 Report to the Governor on Personal Finance Education in PA.

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Rhode Island

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, Rhode Island does not specify required courses for graduation. High school students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in six core areas including social studies. The decision as to whether to offer courses in financial literacy and whether to require that students take these courses is a local school district decision in Rhode Island. See: Rhode Island High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Rhode Island has social studies standards, which include an economics standard. However, these standards focus on economics and do not cover personal finance concepts. See: Rhode Island Economics Standards.
  • Extra Credit: In 2014, the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education approved a recommendation from a group of students that they endorse (but do not require) the Council on Economic Education’s (CEE) standards for personal financial literacy. See: CEE National Standards for Financial Literacy. In the process of researching personal finance standards, the student-led research group discovered that 84% of the state’s 20 school districts surveyed indicated that they offer one or more finance literacy classes as electives, and three of those districts have personal finance as a graduation requirement. See: Rhode Island Commissioner’s Field Memo. While we understand that these CEE standards have been endorsed by this council, we cannot find these standards or a link to them posted on the Department of Education’s website as of July 3, 2015.

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South Carolina

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, South Carolina requires students to take a half-year course in economics. See: South Carolina Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There are five economics standards, one of which covers personal finance topics. The economic standards consist of a total of 25 indicators, which are statements of the knowledge and skills a student should obtain from this instruction. Only three of these indicators focus on personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately seven hours of instruction in personal finance. See: South Carolina Economics Standards (pages 115–119).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how South Carolina measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: South Carolina’s Department of Education provides online resources for teachers of economics and financial literacy. See: South Carolina financial literacy resources.

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South Dakota

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, South Dakota requires high school students to take a half-year course in either personal finance or economics but does not require students to choose personal finance or require schools to offer personal finance. See: South Dakota High School Graduation Requirements (page 3).
  • Education Standards: South Dakota does have personal finance standards. See: South Dakota Personal Finance Standards. The economic standards do not include personal finance concepts. See: South Dakota Economics Standards (page 26).

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Tennessee

  • Grade: A
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, high school students in Tennessee are required to take a half-year course in personal finance. See: Tennessee High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: The standards for the personal finance course are robust. See: Tennessee Personal Finance Standards.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Tennessee measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: The Tennessee Department of Treasury has established a Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission, which provides a clearinghouse of Tennessee Resources for Financial Literacy. The Commission also offers resources, training and other activities for all Tennessee residents and families as well as educators. In addition to the high school personal finance course, Tennessee has developed personal finance curricula for students in Grades K–8.

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Texas

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Texas requires students to take a half-year course in economics for graduation. See: Texas Graduation Requirements
  • Education Standards: There are 24 strands in the Texas economics standards, six of which cover personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 15 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: Texas Economics Standards.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Texas measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: In 2012, the Texas legislature created the Texas Financial Education Endowment to support statewide financial education and credit-building programs. The endowment fund was created by the legislature as part of a regulatory program for Credit Access Businesses. Each credit access business, a financial service provider that facilitates payday and auto title loans, is required to pay an annual assessment to the endowment fund to sustain the financial capability and education programs. See: Texas Financial Endowment Fund. The Texas Department of Education provides online resources for teachers of personal finance. See: Texas online teaching resources. Texas requires personal financial literacy education in mathematics instruction in Grades K–8, requires each school district to offer a half-year course in personal financial literacy and mandates that such courses include instruction in the methods for paying for post-secondary education, see: Texas K–8 Financial Literacy Requirements. Texas also requires that a personal finance course be offered as a mathematics credit for high school career and technology education. See: Texas Financial Literacy Requirements Career and Technology Education. Texas requires that state colleges that train future K–12 educators offer them personal finance training, see: Texas State College Teacher Training.

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Utah

  • Grade: A+
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Utah requires all high school students to take a half-year general financial literacy course as a graduation requirement. See: Utah High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Utah has very robust and specific competency-based standards that are applicable to the mandated course. See: Utah Personal Finance Standards.
  • Assessment: Utah requires students to take a standardized end-of-course personal finance exam that is created by a third-party provider and administered by the state.
  • Extra Credit: The Utah State Office of Education has also created a Utah Educator Website exclusively dedicated to financial literacy. In 2014, the Utah legislature passed a law that added requirements to its preexisting high school education mandate. As a result of this law, Utah is clearly the leader in high school personal finance education in the nation. The new law requires:
    • General financial literacy course must address (in addition to a broad list of topics already legally required) the costs of going to college, student loans, scholarships and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and technology that relates to banking, savings and financial products;
    • The State Board of Education to make available to teachers online resources for financial and economic literacy education, including modules with interactive activities and turnkey instructor resources
    • High schools to administer an online, end-of-course assessment to students that take the general financial literacy course and funds the creation of such assessment by a third-party expert provider;
    • The State Board of Education is required to provide professional development opportunities in financial and economic literacy;
    • The State Board of Education is required to implement a teacher endorsement in general financial literacy that includes course work in financial planning, credit and investing, consumer economics and personal economics, and family economics. This means that educators must have demonstrable expertise in the subject matter before they are allowed to teach the general financial literacy course;
    • The law was a funded mandate with a total of $450,000 allocated for the implementation of these additional requirements.

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Vermont

  • Grade: D
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, taking a course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. Local districts may offer a personal finance course either on a stand-alone basis or embedded into another course offering. High school graduation requirements are determined by the local school districts. See: Vermont School Quality and Education Quality Standards Concepts (page 2).
  • Education Standards: In 2014, Vermont adopted Vermont Education Quality Standards (EQS) that require local school districts to deliver curriculum aligned to Vermont Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs) approved by the State Board of Education. Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in global citizenship (including the concepts of civics, economics, geography, world language, cultural studies and history). Although global citizenship includes economics, it does not include financial literacy. In addition to the EQS and PBGRs, educational standards have been approved by the state board of education that include some financial literacy topics, see: Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities (Framework).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Vermont measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement. The financial literacy topics identified in the Framework are classified as “vital results.” Vital results standards are the responsibility of teachers in all fields of knowledge. Thus, personal finance topics lack a subject matter home in the framework. The financial literacy concepts are fairly sparse and briefly cover the topics of personal economics and career choices.
  • Extra Credit: The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College created a Financial Literacy Task force of governmental, business and non-profit leaders that made recommendations for policymakers with regard to increasing Vermonter’s financial literacy, see Vermont’s Financial Literacy Action Plan. In 2015, a law was passed creating a financial literacy commission to make policy recommendations to the governor and legislature. See: Vermont Financial Literacy Commission Law (page 16). The Office of the State Treasurer has created a website that provides financial literacy resources. See: Treasurer Financial Literacy Resources. The Treasurer also administers a Financial Literacy Trust Fund.

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Virginia

  • Grade: A
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, Virginia requires that students take a full-year course titled Economics and Personal Finance in order to graduate. See: Virginia High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: Nine of the 18 standards for the Economics and Personal Finance course are in personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 60 hours of instruction in personal finance, which is the equivalent of a one-semester course. See: Virginia Economics and Personal Finance Standards. For additional information, see: Virginia Financial Literacy FAQs.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Virginia measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: Virginia makes financial literacy resources available online for teachers. See: Virginia Financial Literacy Resources.

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West Virginia

  • Grade: B
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? Yes, West Virginia requires students to take a full-year course called Civics for the Next Generation. See: West Virginia High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: There are 43 social studies, economics, personal finance and geography learning objectives in Civics for the Next Generation, five of which relate to personal finance. Based on this information, we estimate that students receive approximately 14 hours of instruction in personal finance. See: West Virginia Economics and Personal Finance Strands (pages 105–106).
  • Caveat: It is not clear how West Virginia measures student achievement in financial literacy.
  • Extra Credit: The West Virginia Treasurer’s office launched a program, NetWorth, which promotes financial education through all West Virginia public schools beginning in kindergarten. The program has won numerous national honors, including awards from the Council of State Governments and the Institute for Financial Literacy. See: West Virginia NetWorth Program.

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Wisconsin

  • Grade: F
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, Wisconsin does not require any specific courses for graduation. See: Wisconsin High School Graduation Requirements.
  • Education Standards: In 2006, a statewide task force consisting of representatives from both the public and private sector developed Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Personal and Financial Literacy. These standards are rigorous and are to be used by local districts and teachers as guides (but are not mandatory) for developing local grade-by-grade curriculum. See: Wisconsin Personal Finance Standards.
  • Extra Credit: Wisconsin created an Office of Financial Literacy in 2000 (see: Wisconsin Office of Financial Literacy), and then in 2010, by executive order, it created the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy. See: Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy. The Council’s mission is to improve financial literacy in Wisconsin by expanding teacher training in financial literacy, incentivizing K–16 educational institutions to implement financial literacy through grants and awards, and providing an annual report on their progress to the Governor and the Department of Financial Institutions’ Office of Financial Literacy. See: Wisconsin Executive Order Creating the Council. In 2013, the Offices of Financial Literacy and Public Instruction released a Financial Literacy Survey Report. See: Wisconsin Financial Literacy Survey Report 2013. This survey of Wisconsin school districts indicated that 44% required a course in personal finance for graduation. In districts with a required course, 89% have aligned their course to Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Personal Financial Literacy. Personal finance content is included in 74% of Wisconsin school districts that integrate these concepts within courses other than a stand-alone course, and 60% of local districts report offering personal finance content at grade levels other than high school. A summary document provides the financial literacy accomplishments the state has achieved as of summer 2014. See: Wisconsin Financial Literacy Highlights.

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Wyoming

  • Grade: D
  • Is a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, Wyoming does not require any specific courses for graduation. Wyoming requires three years of instruction in social studies, including economic systems and institutions. See: Wyoming High School Graduation Requirements (Section 9).
  • Education Standards: While Wyoming’s requirements indicate that economics must be taught as part of the social studies credits, there are not any significant personal finance concepts included in those standards. See: Wyoming Social Studies Academic Standards (page 13). Wyoming’s Career and Vocational Education standards also include some personal finance concepts. See: Wyoming Career and Vocational Education Standards.
  • Caveat: It is not clear how Wyoming measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.

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