Indiana has become the 19th state in the United States to mandate personal finance education for high school graduates. The legislation — which was signed by Governor Eric Holcomb — requires all high school students to learn about personal finance concepts like budgeting, saving, investing and credit before they graduate. This move is aimed at equipping students with the tools needed to navigate the real world beyond the classroom.
The measure aims to promote financial literacy across all communities, including those with limited access to financial services and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. With the rise of student loan debt, credit card debt, and a financial landscape that’s increasingly complex, the State of Indiana is stepping up to provide an essential life skill to its students.
Research indicates that financial literacy can reduce negative financial behaviors among young adults, such as overspending and delinquent payment. Furthermore, it can also lead to better credit scores, which can help with obtaining loans at better interest rates.
Indiana’s move reflects a growing trend in the United States. Today, 20 states require high schools to teach personal finance. This is a welcome trend, given the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the financial world. The pandemic has highlighted the crucial need for individuals and households to have financial backups—whether it’s emergency savings, backup plans, or reevaluating spending habits. Financial education can only help to build safer financial futures for all.