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Michigan high schools earn a D for financial literacy

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
It costs a lot of money to go to college.

Michigan’s high schools were given a D for financial literacy instruction.

That’s coming from a Champlain College study. The college’s Center for Financial Literacy took a look at all 50 states, examining their guidelines for teaching students how to be savvy consumers -- including instruction on loans, interest, stocks and other critical pieces of personal finance.

The study ranked Michigan as one of the bottom-performing states in finance teaching, joining 10 other states in the D category.

While Grade D states do “require personal finances topics be included in instructional guidelines,” they lack concrete outlines on what exactly “personal finance” content looks like. And finance topics don’t have to be included in classes required for graduation -- according to the study, they’re often only included in electives.

11 more states were given an F grade for financial education -- states that have no requirements at all for personal finance instruction.

The study’s author, John Pelletier, notes that without solid financial skills, it may be hard to avoid economic downturns.

“If there is a positive outcome we can realize from the Great Recession, it will be to become a financially literate nation. Perhaps if more of us proactively support personal finance training in our public schools, collegiate institutions and workplaces, we could prevent another horrible economic and financial crisis in the future.”

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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