New Survey Highlights Americans’ Desire for Financial Education

In a recent Charles Schwab survey, Americans flagged money management as the most important skill for children to learn, outranking the dangers of drugs and alcohol, healthy eating and exercise habits and safe driving practices. Nearly two-thirds—63%—said financial education was the most important supplementary graduation requirement next to math, English and science.

Survey respondents overwhelmingly agreed that a lack of financial education is a contributing factor to some of the biggest social issues facing the nation, including poverty, lack of job opportunities, unemployment and wealth inequity. Fifty-nine percent said that based on what they know today, they would teach their younger self about the value of saving money. Fifty-two percent said they would teach their younger selves basic money management and 51% said they would teach their younger selves about setting financial goals and working toward them.

While 65% of consumers said they primarily rely on schools to provide financial education (followed by 12% who said they rely primarily on the government and 10% on employers) only 21 states currently require students at the high school level to take a personal finance course.