The number of states requiring financial literacy courses in high school curricula has tripled since 2019, according to NPR’s “Marketplace Morning Report.” To find out why, reporter Samantha Fields turned to Champlain College’s John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy.

Michigan is the latest state to consider requiring high school students to take a financial literacy course before graduation, according to the Marketplace report. Florida and Georgia recently passed similar laws, bringing the total number of states requiring personal finance education to 14 states.

That count had nearly stayed the same for many years, says Marketplace, but since 2019, the number of states has tripled. When asked why that is, Pelletier states: “I actually think Covid really opened peoples’ eyes to how financially precarious people are in the ways they live their lives.”

Pelletier cited how it’s easy for anyone, including teenagers, to buy stocks and crypto.

“You’re dealing with youth who can probably, in ten minutes, open up a Robinhood account; or a coin-based account. So these concepts are almost more important now,” Pelletier continued.

Listen to the full Marketplace story here, titled “Bipartisan bill takes aim at Big Tech’s power.” Pelletier’s segment begins around 1:40.

The “Burlington Free Press” also sought out Pelletier’s expertise in a recent piece exploring where the economy is headed. His advice? Don’t panic.

The article reads:

“Are we in a bear market? The answer is ‘Maybe,’” John Pelletier said.

A bear market is defined as a 20% drop from the market peak. The S&P 500 almost got there in May, he said, going below a 20% drop before ending the day down by 19%. Pelletier prefers tracking the S&P as compared to the Dow Jones Industrial Average because it includes the nation’s 500 largest companies, while the Dow Jones is based on only 30 companies.

What was Pelletier’s advice? Don’t panic. He encourages people who are thinking about retiring, or who have recently retired, to closely consider their decision and financial plans. He recommends talking with a financial advisor to come up with the best strategy.

Online subscribers to the Burlington Free Press can read the full story here.

Personal Finance Education at Champlain College

A low-pressure experience, the Game of Life offers students insight into what their financial futures could look like after graduation, including how student loan payments factor in to daily decision making.

At Champlain College, quality personal finance education is an essential and mandatory part of each student’s curriculum, incorporated through the college’s unique InSight program—a four-year career and financial education that’s overseen by Champlain’s Career Collaborative. InSight teaches students the skills and strategies to position themselves in their careers and manage their personal finances and wellness. Among them, the Game of Life event for first-year students that challenges them to a budgeting simulation, much like the board game, with an assigned salary based on their majors. Read more about the annual Game of Life event.

Kaylee Sullivan

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