While only four states mandate financial education courses for high school students, 83 percent of student respondents to an EverFi survey said they would like such classes in their curricula. Half of the teenagers also said they do not know how to establish a good credit rating, according to the education technology company, which conducted the survey to mark Financial Literacy Month, which is observed in April.
Most of the respondents — age 13 to 19 — believe they will be unprepared to manage their finances upon graduating high school. Sixty-three percent of the students think their parents or teachers should step in and help them learn, but only 26 percent of parents think they’re fit to do so and less than half of states require personal finance to be integrated into other courses.
“Many high school students have little, if any, personal experience in managing their own finances, yet they are just moments away from entering adulthood, opening lines of credit and making financial decisions that will impact their individual futures and our entire global economy,” said Tom Davidson, chief executive officer of EverFi. “This cyclical nature of sending students into the ‘real world’ without sufficient financial education is leaving the next generation unprepared for the challenges they’ll face as adults. While parental and educator involvement is critical, we believe that third-party investment in financial education can significantly increase student success.”
While a good credit score usually is 700 or more, the average survey respondent believed it was about 500, and a third said a good score is 300 or less.
While these students may not understand finances and credit properly, they realize that it will continue to affect every aspect of their lives. Forty-four percent of the respondents said financial stress affects their academic performance, and they predict that will only increase and affect other areas of their life as they get older.
There are many programs geared toward helping teenagers get a grasp on good finances, such as one that breaks lessons up into sections such as budgets, credit, investments, advanced investments, the stock market, advanced stock market and stock market concepts. Programs like this plus education at home could prepare kids for the basics once they leave home.
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