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12 The State of American Finances

The Challenges

Young Americans are facing the challenges that come along with increased responsibility as they move into adulthood, but they are also learning how to juggle managing their money, paying for college, and building good credit.

Financial Literacy

Research shows that America’s youth has a deep lack of understanding when it comes to their finances and how to properly manage money. Financial literacy is not required in the majority of U.S. schools, in spite of evidence that shows financial literacy is directly related to healthier finances.

2014
  • 22 states require a high school course in Economics

    Colored map of America
  • 17 states require a high school course in Personal Finance

    Colored map of American

Source: Council for Economic Education, 2014 Survey of the States

  • 84% teens report looking to their parents for information on how to manage money
  • 32% teens think their parents don’t spend enough time discussing topics about managing money

Paying for College

While the costs of a college education continue to rise, post-graduation earnings remain stagnant. Obtaining a college degree is a huge financial burden to many students and their families, and finding a way to pay for college is a primary concern.

  • The cost of college doubles every nine years.
  • Parents plan to cover, on average, 64 percent of their children’s total college costs.
  • 48 percent of teens think their parents will help pay for college, but only 16 percent of parents (of teens) report plans to pay for post-secondary education.

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