States Add New Requirement for High School Graduation: Financial Literacy

June 9, 2022

Montana Lending

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Michigan lawmakers have approved a bill requiring high school students to take personal finance to classify. It now goes to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her signature.

This would make Michigan the 14th state to require public high schools to teach personal finance. Florida and Georgia also passed similar laws this year, and a number of other states are considering them.

Number of States Requiring Personal Finance in High School has nearly tripled since 2019 after barely budging for years.

John Pelletier of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College has a theory as to why:

“I actually think COVID has really opened people’s eyes to how financially precarious people are in how they live their lives.”

On top of that, he said, it has become very easy for anyone, including teenagers, to buy stocks – and cryptos. “You’re dealing with a young person who can, in probably 10 minutes, open a Robin Hood account, right, or a Coinbase account, so those concepts, I think, are almost more important now,” he said.

Research shows that requiring a personal finance course in high school changes people’s behavior for the bettersaid Carly Urban at Montana State University.

“[It] improves credit scores at age 22. It reduces crime rates. Student loan repayment is actually much higher after graduation. And payday loans are going down,” Urban said.

According to Next Gen Personal Finance Nonprofit20 states are currently considering legislation to require a high school class.

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