NGPF Research Report Finds That Only 1 in 6 High School Students Nationwide Required to Take Personal Finance Course To Graduate

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Sep 28, 2017
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Personal Finance, Financial Literacy

NGPF Research Report Finds That Only 1 in 6 High School Students Nationwide Required to Take Personal Finance Course To Graduate

Palo Alto, CA –September 27, 2017- Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit on a mission to bring effective and engaging financial education to all U.S. high school classrooms, today released a groundbreaking research report on the state of financial education. The report answers a fundamental question, Who has access to financial education in America today?. While various surveys show that more than 90% of parents and students believe that personal finance SHOULD be taught in schools, this study demonstrates the wide gap between demand and actual access.  

In the most comprehensive research to date on financial education at the high school level, NGPF analyzed the course offerings of over 11,000 U.S. public high schools serving over 13 million students. The highlights of this research include:

  • Only 16.4% OF STUDENTS NATIONWIDE are required to take a personal finance course to graduate from high school.
    • Outside of the five states that have a mandated personal finance graduation requirement, the percentage of students slips to 8.6%
  • About 1 in 20 STUDENTS FROM LOW-INCOME BACKGROUNDS (outside of the five states with mandates) attend high schools with a personal finance requirement.
  • A word-by-word analysis of the descriptions of over 18,000 personal finance courses revealed that little attention in these courses is being paid to financing a college education, saving for retirement or identity theft.
  • A state-by-state grade (A-F, Incomplete) determined based on the prevalence of elective and required personal finance courses in their high schools. Read the full report to see how your state stacks up.

Tim Ranzetta, founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, made the following statement about the research results:

“This research sets an important stake in the ground by measuring access to financial education on a school-by-school basis for the first time. While these results are disappointing and frankly, not acceptable given the importance of this knowledge, we now have a marker to measure our future success at bringing financial education to ALL classrooms. In meeting teachers at workshops and training sessions across the country, I see their passion and desire to expand access and look forward to what we can accomplish together.”

Coinciding with the release of this report, NGPF is officially launching an advocacy campaign to improve access to financial education. In addition to this research report, NGPF produced a mini-documentary to highlight the need for financial education and how a concerned grass roots effort can close this gap. The #FinHero Advocacy page provides passionate educators, administrators and policymakers with the resources and tools to advocate so more students can leave high school with the financial skills to thrive.

About Next Gen Personal Finance

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) is a non-profit organization that believes all young people deserve a free, high-quality education to develop their financial capability. All curriculum and training services provided by NGPF are provided at no cost (and always will be!) and are funded through an endowment. Access their website at www.ngpf.org.

Thousands of personal finance teachers in all fifty states (and D.C.) rely on the NGPF website at www.ngpf.org as their “one-stop shop” for:

      • Comprehensive set of customizable curricular materials including lesson plans, case studies and activities.
      • Multitude of training opportunities from in-person workshops to virtual PLCs and webinars
      • Tools to advocate for increasing accessing to financial education

Contact:  Tim Ranzetta of Next Gen Personal Finance, at tim@nextgenpersonalfinance.org

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.