Jun 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

These states require personal finance education before graduation

School bus with money.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Learning about personal finance in high school is now required for about one-third of the country.

Driving the news: The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that will make it the 14th state to guarantee high school students a personal finance class before they graduate.

  • “At the most fundamental level, a high school education must prepare students for adult life,” state Rep. Diana Farrington said in a statement.
  • “Personal finance should be part of that educational preparation,” she added. “A financial literacy class will familiarize students with key financial concepts, helping them understand how to handle their personal budgets.”

The big picture: In all, 14 states mandate personal finance education at the high school level. Here's a breakdown of those states, according to the Next Gen Personal Finance, which offers personal finance curriculum.

  1. Alabama — High school students must take a one-year career preparedness course that includes personal finance lessons.
  2. Florida — High school students are required to take a personal finance class to graduate.
  3. Georgia — High school students are required to take a financial literacy class in their 11th or 12th year to graduate.
  4. Iowa — All school districts require students to take at least one half-year personal financial literacy course beginning in 2022-23.
  5. Michigan — High school students must take a personal finance course before graduation to receive a diploma.
  6. Mississippi — Beginning in 2022, Mississippi will require students to take a college and career readiness course before graduation. Financial literacy is one of the units for students in that course.
  7. Missouri — Students must earn one-half credit in the area of personal finance to graduate.
  8. Nebraska — Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, students must take at least five hours of personal finance or financial literacy classes to graduate high school.
  9. North Carolina — Students are required to pass a personal finance class to graduate.
  10. Ohio — Students entering the ninth grade on or after July 1, 2022, must earn one-half credit of financial literacy to graduate.
  11. Rhode Island — The state is developing a plan to create statewide standards for financial literacy in public schools.
  12. Tennessee — High school students must take a half-year course in personal finance to graduate.
  13. Utah — All high school students must take a half-year course on personal finance topics as well as an end-of-course assessment administered by the state.
  14. Virginia — High school students must take one-year economics and personal finance course as a graduation requirement.

What they're saying: Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, told Axios that "no student leaves a personal finance class wondering how they will use this in their real lives."

  • "Managing money is an essential skill that all students will need to address in their lives," he said in an email.
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