Ohio Will Require High School Students to Take a Personal Finance Course Before Graduating

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Students in Ohio will be required to take a financial literacy course before graduating high school.


Key points

  • Personal finance classes are typically not part of a high school education, but that's beginning to change.
  • High school students in Ohio will soon be required to take a financial literacy course before graduating.

Having personal finance skills is essential for a successful life. Many people don't learn how to properly manage their money and make important financial decisions until they've already made big money mistakes as adults. This means they have to dig their way out of trouble, which can take time and education. School curriculum should include personal finance classes, but that's often not the case. That's soon about to change in the state of Ohio. Find out more about an upcoming curriculum change that will impact high school students at public schools throughout the state.

On Oct. 28, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill that will require public school high schoolers to take a financial literacy course before graduating. Each student will need to take a half-unit financial literacy course to meet graduation requirements.

Ohio joins only a few states to require personal finance education in school. For many students around the country, personal finance is not a subject taught in the classroom. Instead, teens often learn about money from the people around them, or they don't learn at all. This can result in poor decision-making involving money as teens and later in life as adults. Requiring personal finance education could positively impact many students' lives.

What this means for high school students in Ohio

Ohio students in public schools who enter ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2022, will be held to these new requirements. They will be required to take one half-unit financial literacy course, which requires a minimum of 60 hours of instruction. While this impacts public school students, it won't apply to students attending chartered, non-public schools -- unless they attend school using a state scholarship.

Some Ohio students are already learning about personal finance matters, but this curriculum is usually built into an existing class and taught on a smaller scale. Having more time to focus on developing critical financial skills will be beneficial to students.

Since money management and personal finance matters are a significant part of everyday life for most adults, this will help prepare teens and young adults for better financial success. It'll be interesting to see if more states adopt similar requirements in the coming years.

The importance of personal finance knowledge in adulthood

If you're an adult, chances are you didn't learn much about money while in school. The good news is there is always time to learn more about crucial personal finance matters, and you're never too old to learn and improve your financial skills.

At The Ascent, we break down difficult financial topics in an easy-to-understand way. Our informative guides can help you improve your financial literacy.

Here are some articles that you may find worthwhile:

Mobile apps can also be a powerful tool to manage your finances and stay on top of your goals. There are a variety of personal finance apps to choose from, and deciding which one to use will depend on your needs. If you want to make learning fun and interactive, these financial literacy apps can educate you on important financial topics. If you prefer to learn by reading online content, check out our personal finance resources for more guidance.

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