They say the first step to wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.
If that’s the case, a group of young adults, ages 18 to 24, is on the road to true understanding. Asked in a survey cosponsored by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), DreamCatcher Wealth Management, and The Minerva Foundation which high school-level course would benefit their lives the most, the majority (51.4 percent) chose “money management” as their answer.
The online survey sought to measure young people’s opinions about the value of personal finance education relative to other coursework commonly offered by public secondary schools.
Respondents were asked, “Which of these high school-level courses would benefit your life the most?” Among the response options they were provided were “mathematics (algebra, geometry)”; “money management (personal finance)”; “science (biology, chemistry)”; and “social studies (history, government).”
Mathematics, science, and social studies were selected by 17.9 percent, 16.5 percent, and 14.2 percent of respondents, respectively.
Among respondents in urban areas, those earning between $50,000 and $74,000 per year were more likely to choose “money management” as the most beneficial course than those who earned between $25,000 and $49,000.
The survey results, according to the sponsors, are of particular interest because public high schools rarely, if ever, offer personal finance courses as part of their regular curriculum. Money management is also not generally included in Common Core standards.
This is the first age-specific survey conducted by the NFEC and collaborators as part of a research series aimed at examining various financial attitudes and behaviors. The sponsors also plan to conduct additional studies in the future to explore relationships between attitudes and behaviors and levels of financial capability.