Financial literacy in the classroom

25 states are now requiring a personal finance class for graduation from public high school.

Here’s the sales pitch:
{ High school personal finance courses generally teach students real-world lessons about earning income, spending and savings, credit and credit scores, investing, and managing risk, among other topics. These are financial lessons for life. }

{ starting with the class of 2028 }
Why wait 5 years?

Well. Can it hurt?


HA! It doesn’t have to hurt but my cynical bias tells me it’s an opportunity to groom America’s hapless young people to buy stuff, put money on the stock market, and don’t worry. Rich people and market forces will protect you.


It needs to be required in 10th or 11th grade before students commit themselves to an attempt at four years of college with $60,000 in debt at the end of the rainbow.

I saw a story yesterday about a listener who called into Dave Ramsey’s show or podcast or whatever he does looking for advice. Part of the guy’s sob story was that he recently attempted to enroll in an “elite Christian university” and apparently was unable to remain enrolled (grades? behavior? money?) but that ONE SEMESTER incurred another $30,000 in debt. He already owed something like $30k or $40k.

I can only think of a handful of schools whose tuition rates exceed $58,000/year and none of them are “elite Christian universities” so I suspect this rube was completely ill-prepared to evaluate the quality of any school including Whatsamatta U much less its relative worth given its tuition. Maybe if he had some basic financial literacy to calculate how many hours working at $18/hour at McDonalds minus cost of taxes, rent, transportation, car insurance and food would be required to pay off $30,000, he would have avoided that mistake. BTW, according to the article, Ramsey’s actual advice was to work two jobs (including McDonalds) full time for the next N years to pay off those loans as quickly as possible.



Top Christian Universities

2024 Best Christian Colleges in America - Niche

I never met a SMU grad at Exxon, though we had plenty of UT and Texas A&M alums, and Rice grads were highly respected.

There was one Scotsman in the office who had apparently worked with a few of them at Halliburton. His review, “They were as thick as two short planks” – and he wasn’t describing their appearance.

50 Universities with the Most Nobel Prize Winners -

Not a “Christian college” on the list, though apparently about 2/3 of Nobel Prize winners are ‘Christian’ or come from a ‘Christian’ background.




I’ve always wondered about Dave Ramsey. He’s kind of the Jerry Springer of Personal Finance entertainment, regaling his listeners with tales of personal finance woe and bad decisionmaking, often from Appalaccia and the South.

Just what are people learning at the “Financial Peace University”?

Years ago one caller complained that he went to one of Dave’s ‘Endorsed Local Providers (ELP)’ (who pay Dave a marketing fee for every sales lead he sends them) and the guy tried to sell him a mutual fund with a 5% sales load. Dave said, “That’s just fine. You’re going to make that back with the mutual fund earning 12% to 15% per year.” I call BS. “Stocks go up and down, but the money you lose to financial advisor fees, commissions, trading costs, and taxes are gone forever.”

The Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) Shaft Detector

And don’t get me started on the Dave Ramsey “8% retirement withdrawal rate”



But tech universities that offer engineering and science degrees certainly do have religious organizations (fraternities, sororities, clubs, associations) on campus. Religious people are clearly not excluded. They are welcome. Of course these students are not expected to be future priests, pastors or rabbis.

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Of course, but a religious doctrine isn’t the central guiding principle of the institution, like say Liberty University in Virginia.



I think this is a personal choice students make. Those who clearly want a career in science or engineering would be unlikely to make a religious university their first choice. If religion is a priority, science and engineering may not be the right path for you.

Not many regard the bible as a science document. Those who do could have conflicts to resolve at some point in the future.

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I’d be looking into some kind of income based repayment program. More bad advice from Ramsey, just like that Time-Share Exit Team scandal. {{ Ramsey apparently collected some $30 million in advertising fees promoting a fraudulent scheme to buy yourself out of a timeshare.



In that this thread is about financing college and understanding what that means:
University of Wuerzburg: tuition, $0.0 fees 129 Eur per semester
University of Washington – Seattle tuition in-state $12,500
Duke: tuition $60,244
University of Copenhagen – tuition, $0.0
Goethe University: tuition $0.0 fees ~700€ per year
My friends from Europe and Japan are amazed at the cost of higher education in the United States. Not only do American high school students required to understand the financial costs of college, but their parents have to spend years saving to afford it.
Even when the federal government tried to give students some loan relief, there was considerable opposition. I mean it was $10k forgiveness on loans that exceed $50$. In Europe no one complains that the schools have little or no tuition.
UCLA’s tuition has gone from $3,000 in 2000 to $12,000 today (not counting fees)


You have got to be kidding.

Liberty University has one goal: enrichment and empowerment of the Falwell family, and has two strategies:

  1. sell Evangelical families with children on the idea that their preciouses will be kept safely virginal and ignorant, and
  2. whatever happens it will not be the fault of anyone but demonic pols and libs

I rescued two gay boys from LU waaaay back in 1989.

david fb
(it is very hard for me to confront my extreme hatred of these religious monsters, whited sepulchres)



He has a finer sense of sarcasm. Like hitting one’s head hard against a cement floor on a five-story drop.

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According to US News, top USian private universities cost $60-$70k/year

In state at UCLA, ranked 15th overall, is $13,752. In state at U of M, ranked 21st overall is $17,786 U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ranked 22nd overall, $8,998 (who knew they were Commies that gave education away so cheaply?) University of Florida, ranked 28th overall, in state: $6,381 (even worse Commies) UConn, ranked 58th overall, in state $20,366 (but their basketball team is ranked 5th!)

Whatsa Matta U, in a multiway tie for 304th, in state $14,594. On a reputation for dollar basis, really shiny.

2024 Best National Universities | US News Rankings


Publically that’s the sale’s pitch, but like any large, powerful organization, the elites often do what they want – as you point out.

Saw that Pope Francis poked Cardinal Burke in the other eye yesterday.

Pope Francis approves blessings for same-sex couples but not for their marriages : NPR



Seeing these numbers, I thought I would do my own comparison. When I went there, graduate tuition at Harvard was $2,000/year for two years and then $0 for any additional years. Now, it is $54,032 the first two years, then $14,048 for the next two years, then $3,574 for any other years.

As it happened, I showed up right after massive reductions in graduate support from NSF and NIH. The prior year, everyone in the Anthro department was funded, but there was little available when I got there. I will say that Harvard did work to find me a teaching fellowship, which helped.

Hi @rainphakir -

I had the opportunity to volunteer for a financial literacy day / event at our local high school this year. It was organized by the high school, but many local banks, car dealers and realtors participated as well.

What I realized from participating in that event (was held for Juniors and Seniors) that many of them just wanted to “tick the box” that they had gone through the process and were not interested at all about having a meaningful conversation about the options that they chose or how those decisions would impact their work/life balance or other aspects of “quality of life”.

I was (unfortunately) unimpressed with the event. Even though it had a great goal, the students just didn’t care.

It didn’t do much for my positive impression of today’s youth.



YES! And I did a happy dance and then even went to mass!

d fb


Once they understand the magic of “skim-free” compounded investment returns, that will change – at least for a few of them.


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Question: Did the students ask for this financial literacy event or was some administrator or counselor or teacher ticking a box for someone higher up in the food chain?

I was there affiliated with my volunteer role at which supports events of this type throughout the community. If I remember correctly, the school was awarded grant funding through a consortium of local banks to promote financial literacy. The local banks have a huge stake in the game for those future savers and borrowers.

It actually may be the local banks that are ticking the box for higher ups if anything. This group of local banks and credit unions have ben doing this for a couple of years now and the high school seems pleased with the event.

I asked for some follow up - like any stats, comments, testimonials, etc. - never received anything as a follow up. I’m not sure that the organizers at the school had prepped the kids well at all.