High schools are increasingly offering real-world financial lessons to students — and soon more than half of U.S. high schoolers will be required to take a personal finance course before graduation.
Studies show personal finance education can make a significant difference in young adults' financial behaviors, from improving credit scores and lowering loan delinquency rates to reducing payday lending and helping students make better decisions about college loans.
Pennsylvania is the 25th state to pass legislation guaranteeing its high school students will take a semester-long course in personal finance before graduation.
Now 53% of students will have a mandatory financial education course in high school, according to Next Gen Personal Finance.
Since 2013, there has been a more than 700% increase in states requiring students to take a personal finance course before graduation, according to John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College.
High school personal finance courses generally teach students real-world lessons about earning income, spending and savings, credit and credit scores, investing, and managing risk, among other topics. These are financial lessons for life.