5 min read
This story originally appeared on NerdWallet
Many of us don’t learn how to manage money until we’re faced with our first true financial decision, like renting an apartment, applying for a credit card or buying a car. But what if you learned about budgeting or credit scores in the low-stakes environment of a classroom instead? It may not sound like fun, but at least it’s more practical than trigonometry.
Financial literacy hasn’t traditionally been a priority in schools, but that is changing. The number of states requiring personal finance instruction in schools more than doubled over the past decade. Since the Great Recession, ballooning student loan debt and advocacy efforts, more people are aware of the importance of learning about money.
Now, because of the pandemic, educators say there’s never been more interest in the subject from students and parents. This year alone, lawmakers in more than 20 states introduced bills to add personal finance classes in high schools.
States shape how finance is taught
States typically dictate how personal finance is taught in schools. Twenty-two states required some form of personal finance education in high schools for the 2020-21 academic year, according to research published in April by Carly Urban, an associate professor of economics at Montana State University. The benefits of teaching high school students basic personal finance concepts include better credit scores and lower rates of…