High school students not taught about the financial curriculum for adulting

By Ruby Balbuena and Taylor Vu

Staff Writers

High school students aren’t being taught about financial necessities. Summit Denali High School has offered adulting classes in the past, but it no longer does. In the past, many teenagers were taught about finances because it was easy to understand, but now the finance world has become a lot more complicated. 

Well Trained Mind Academy, an online schooling program, explains how high school students used to be taught about finance. “Twenty or twenty-five years ago, teaching teenagers about personal finance was straight-forward,” they explained. “Most transactions happened in cash, and they either had money in their pocket or they didn’t. They had a concrete way of knowing whether or not they had money to buy or do something.” 

In a study that was done throughout the age groups, a portion of the respondents said they felt like they can’t make as much progress financially because of their lack of knowledge in the area. Many of them feel like they can’t make as much progress financially because “they feel their level of personal finance knowledge is holding them back, Liz Frazier, a personal financer said in a Forbes article.

The current education system no longer requires schools to teach adulting, although schools can choose to teach it. According to a 2016 study done by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Only 12 percent of elementary and high school classes currently teach forms of financial education, and 78 percent of teachers believe they need more appropriate financial curriculum.”

CBS Philly said, “The survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by H&R Block found that 84 percent of people learned things in school that they’ve never used after graduation. The average respondent also said that over half of the skills they use in the workforce were learned on the job, rather than in school.” Most of the education that one learns in school is almost never used in our daily lives.

In Daily Titan article, a 2011 study was done by Charles Schwab that, “Eighty-six percent of teens said they wanted the opportunity to learn more about financial education in school before they had to do so in real life.” These students would appreciate a chance of having a class about financial education  which would help them later on within their adult life.

In an Omaha World-Herald article, Hanna Conklin, a junior at the the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said if there were adulting classes she would most likely have taken that class instead of others because of its importance of helping her better prepare herself for the adult world.

Within the same article, Sarah Collins, a career coach from the career center at Doane University, said, “A lot of the education our students are wanting from us, they’re not getting,” Ms. Collins said. “They come out of school and feel like ‘I’m ready to take on this world, but I’m not fully prepared.” 

Students need to be more informed about the financial curriculum because the financial world is becoming very complicated. Between the student loans and credits,  they can easily put themselves in debts without knowing how to handle it. Trent Hamm, the founder of The Simple Dollar, explains how finances can get extremely complicated, “You’ll find long articles about specific tax loopholes (like “backdoor Roths” and so on). You’ll find long calculations that seem to indicate that one move is strictly better than another one. You’ll find lots and lots of arcane writing about taxes.”

Due to the lack of financial knowledge, millennials don’t know how to handle their financial situations correctly.  This can be seen within a Forbes Article that states, “Millennials are starting their careers with a combined $1.52 trillion in debt. … Being taught about debt, the different ways to pay for colleges, and the importance of not borrowing more than you can afford could help to prevent these massive numbers.” 

Students are not given lessons about how to manage their finances so they end up with roadblocks when they come across debt. Dave Ramsey, a radio talk show host, author and businessman said, “Beyond that, many Americans are finding that they can’t buy homes, invest for retirement, or save for their child’s college fund because of their own student loan debt, massive car payments, and general lack of financial planning.”

Without having full financial education within high school, one does not know how to wisely use their money and plan for the future, so one goes easily into debt. 

Related: High schools should offer financial education classes

Students voice opinions on financial education classes

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