NFEC Issues New Policy and Framework for High School Financial Literacy Mandates

LAS VEGAS, June 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) issued new guidelines to empower policymakers, educational institutions, and various stakeholders to optimize the effectiveness of high school financial literacy education while adhering to the same rigorous educational standards demanded by other foundational disciplines.

Review the Policy & Framework Standards for High School Financial Literacy Education.

The NFEC undertook this project due to the lack of quality standards currently required for financial education. While benchmarks have long been in place for typical K-12 subjects – e.g., English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies – guidelines for financial literacy programming remain deficient, even though financial literacy is a subject that benefits 100% of students. Agencies that rate school financial literacy requirements at the state level grade states based mostly on the required instruction time. This new report suggests that financial literacy instruction should be held at least to the same minimum standards as other core subjects taught in high school.

The report maintains that, at a minimum, financial literacy programming should prepare high school students for the near-term financial decisions they will face. Research shows that most adults make early financial mistakes that can cost them valuable time in planning for a secure future.  Proactively teaching and training students so they are prepared for the financial pitfalls faced by so many graduates – it can proactively help them make better decisions and start working toward a more secure future earlier in life.

The Policy & Framework Standards for High School Financial Literacy Education outlines 4 domains and 12 key factors to improve financial education in schools.

Program Structure:

1) Delivered in standalone classes and integrated into other subjects.

2) Assign adequate time and level of rigor to the subject matter.

3) Conduct ongoing education to support long-term outcomes.

Lesson Plans:

4) Relevant content that prepares students for financial life events.

5) Adopt a proven curriculum that encourages higher-order thinking and application.

6) Customize lesson plans based on socio-economic status.

Educators & Leadership: 

7) Courses led by highly qualified personal finance educators.

8) Program development and deployment managed by experienced leaders.

9) Learner outcomes focused on long-term financial wellness and early indicators.     

Program Support:

10) Fund financial literacy programs.

11) Encourage parental involvement and provide parents with access to resources.

12) Start financial education courses in elementary school.

“Financial education is a subject that has benefits for every student and all state financial literacy mandates currently fail to meet the lowest level of educational standards,” says Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC. “Other topics must meet guidelines for rigor, quality, and pedagogy, and teachers have to be certified to teach them. It’s time we started holding financial education to the same rigorous standards we require for English, Math, and Science.”

Setting financial literacy standards on an equivalent basis with other subjects could make a difference in learning outcomes that would have a major impact on the lives of individual Americans, the economy, and society as a whole. This report provides such a framework. The NFEC hopes these standards will inform policymakers and schools as they lead the charge toward ensuring top-quality financial education for all American youth.

The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) is an IACET Accredited Provider of financial education and a Certified B Corporation. The organization promotes financial wellness by spreading educational resources and conducting nationwide advocacy. The NFEC’s research efforts seek to characterize the financial health of individuals in the US and abroad. Results of previous research have found strong associations between people’s financial behaviors and attitudes and their personal finance capabilities.

Media Contact:

Trevor Stoll


SOURCE National Financial Educators Council