2023 H.S. Report Card Shows Huge Progress Coming in Personal Finance Education

4th Report Card Issued by Champlain College Center

BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The fourth National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools™ shows significant progress toward the goal of having every high school student in America guaranteed a semester-long course in personal finance prior to graduation, and it promises huge gains in many states over the next five years. 

John Pelletier, director of the Center, says that the 2023 report card lists seven states earning an A, just two more states than in 2017, its last report card. The seven states are Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. States with an A grade require students to take a semester long personal finance course, or its equivalent, prior to graduation.

“This doesn’t seem like much growth, but sometimes statistics mask reality,” says Pelletier. “Tremendous change is on the horizon. States are rapidly passing laws and changing regulations, and we estimate that, assuming full implementation of legislation and policies, we will have 23 grade A states by 2028.”

“Our first report card came out 10 years ago,” says Pelletier, “For the Class of 2013, less than 5 out of 100 high school students lived in the three states that required them to take a standalone personal finance course or its equivalent. No state in the nation had this requirement when the Class of 2007 graduated. When the Class of 2028 graduates, 41 out of 100 students will live in a state with such a requirement. That’s a 720 percent increase in students being required to take this course since 2013!”

Pelletier says legislators are responding to families without financial safety nets during the pandemic, as well as to advocacy by educators, administrators, parents and students. He also notes that there is a recognition that personal finance knowledge and skills are crucial in today’s complex financial world, and cites the expanding availability of free online curricular resources offered by state departments of education and by non-profit organizations.

Of the 23 states projected to earn As by 2028, nine will rise from a B grade, five will improve from a C, one from a D and one from an F. The Center projects that the number of states getting a C, D or F will drop from 23 in the current report card to 14 by 2028.

“Our nation will need about 30,000 highly trained high school educators to teach personal finance in grade A & B states by 2028,” say Pelletier. “There is a need to provide these educators substantive personal finance education right now.”

A 2022 poll by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) indicated that 88 percent of adults wanted their states to require a semester- or year-long financial education course for graduation from high school, and 8 in 10 adults wished they were required to take such a class when they went to school.

The 2023 Report Card includes a review of the racial and ethnic disparities in financial capability drawn from the most recent FINRA National Financial Capability Study written by researchers at the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (Angela Fontes, Hanna Gilmore, Gary Mottola and Olivia Valdes), as well as research by Dr. Carly Urban of Montana State University highlighting the benefits of requiring financial literacy education in high school.

“Financial literacy is linked to positive outcomes, like wealth accumulation, stock market participation and effective retirement planning, and avoiding high-cost alternative financial services,” says Pelletier. “Conversely, poor financial literacy and negative financial behaviors often go hand in hand.”

“High school personal finance education can help alleviate the cycle of poverty that exists in our nation,” says Pelletier. “Requiring all students to take a standalone financial literacy course, regardless of their race, ethnicity or economic status, is an important step our nation can take toward reducing inequality.”

An interactive national map with information on the 50 states and the District of Columbia and a downloadable copy of the full National Report Card is available here: 2023 National Report Card.

To produce the Report Card, the Center again conducted detailed reviews of high school graduation requirements, state academic standards for personal finance education, and laws, regulations and guidelines that relate to how each state delivers personal finance education in its public high schools. 

The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance provided hundreds of hours of research to support the Report’s analysis of the current landscape of state legislation on personal finance education.

Champlain College

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and a broad portfolio of online degrees and certificates through Champlain College Online. The College is known for its distinctive and innovative approach to career-focused education and its “upside-down” curriculum, which help students be: “Ready for Work. Ready for Life. Ready to Make a Difference.”

Champlain ranks in multiple categories of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges,” including Best Value Schools, Best Colleges in the North, Best Colleges for Veterans, and Top Performers on Social Mobility. Champlain was also listed among The Princeton Review’s “The Best 388 Colleges” in 2023 and was recognized as a 2022 College of Distinction for its “Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes.”

Champlain’s InSight Program requires personal finance education as a graduation requirement for traditional undergraduate students and the four-year program ensures that all students graduate with the tools to take ownership of their career, finances, and self-care. 

For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.

Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College

Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy is nationally known and respected for its work to increase the financial capability of our nation through its research, advocacy and financial literacy educator training programs.

The Center for Financial Literacy’s (CFL) trusted research, the National Report Cards (High School, Adult and Prepped for Success) have informed and led financial literacy debates nationwide. Founded in 2010, the Center for Financial Literacy has also developed two innovative and nationally recognized training programs to support educators in improving financial education in their classroom, helping our youth to be equipped to handle the complexities and intricacies of today’s financial world.

The CFL’s director is John Pelletier, who was formerly chief operating officer and chief legal officer at some of the largest asset management firms in the United States. John is an attorney and has been involved in numerous state and national financial literacy advisory commissions as well as a valuable media resource for current financial literacy topics. 

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA)

The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance is a nonprofit organization created for the sole purpose of achieving racial equity in the law. The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance provided hundreds of hours of research to support the Report’s analysis of the current landscape of state legislation on personal finance education. The LFAA is a collaborative effort of 300 law firms that are located in all 50 states. These Alliance firms, in partnership with legal services organizations and key stakeholders, dedicate their pro bono resources to initiatives that identify and address systemic racism in all areas of the law.

Contact: John Pelletier Director, Center for Financial Literacy Champlain College, (802) 860-2744 (office), (617) 548-6102 (cell),
; Bill Johnson, Halstead Communications, 484-379-6571 cell,

NOTE: Pelletier available for broadcast interviews through streaming applications

SOURCE Champlain College