Graduation Requirements Should Include Financial Literacy Class

In our 4 years of high school, students learn about a large range of subjects, many of them arguably useless and inapplicable in day-to-day life. Students will hopefully never need to dissect a cat or do cartesian equations outside of the classroom.

However, 1 class that is desperately needed at Campo is a Financial Literacy class, helping to increase students’ understanding of how to manage their money wisely. Becoming increasingly popular in recent years, students in a Financial Literacy Class acquire the financial skills that are important to becoming a full-fledged adult, such as learning how credit works, how to take out a loan and invest money, and how to save for retirement. Learning these skills early would allow Campo students to manage their money more effectively, avoiding common mistakes that lead to financial hardship. Several states have laws requiring students to take a Financial Literacy class as a graduation requirement, such as Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and Utah. As opposed to Economics, which focuses on broader systems and processes pertaining to economics, a Financial Literacy course would be more useful to Campo students in their day-to-day lives.

A survey done by Bank of America indicated that only 31% of young Americans ages 18 to 26 agreed that their high school education did a good job of teaching them healthy financial habits. Because of this lack of financial education, most young people do not understand the complexities that surround debit and credit cards, mortgages, banking, investment and insurance products and services, payday lending, rent-to-own products, credit reports, and credit scores. Many students also don’t realize that 1 of the most important financial decisions they will make in their lives comes right after high school – choosing what field they will major in, and if they decide to pursue additional education, what field to specialize in. This makes a high school Financial Literacy class in high school all the more crucial to long-term success.
Currently, America’s young people are suffering due to inadequate financial education. According to, the average Millennial carries around $28,317, excluding home mortgages. In total, Americans have a combined $1.75 trillion in student loan debt. Young people are also making less money than previous generations, homeownership rates are low, and at least 78% of people live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Young people are often left helpless when trying to improve their financial situation. Many are not taught how to be financially successful and oftentimes money is a taboo subject for many families to discuss, putting the burden on learning financial skills via the internet where unreliable information is rampant. According to a T. Rowe Price Survey, 69% of parents have some reluctance about discussing financial matters with their kids.

The consequences of financial hardship are disastrous. Financial strain decreases the quality of life and delays the achievement of major life milestones, like buying a 1st house, getting married, and having kids.

The positive effects of Financial Literacy Classes are undeniable. According to a survey conducted by Ramsey Solutions Research Team, nearly 2 out of 3 high school students who had taken a personal finance course reported that they were already earning an average of $3,000 a year. A high majority of the same group said they were in the habit of creating monthly budgets for their money and 20% already owned a car they paid for by themselves.

Financial Literacy classes set students up for success and empower the next generation to take control of their own finances and handle their money well, which greatly helps students achieve their potential to live their most successful lives. Adding this crucial class to Campolindo’s curriculum and graduation requirements would better prepare students for post-high school, allowing them to utilize their education to its fullest potential.