Survey: Young Adults Believe Personal Finance Coursework Would Benefit Their Lives

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, May 6th, 2016

What high school-level course would benefit your life the most? That's the question to which young adults aged 18-24 responded in a recent survey cosponsored by the National Financial Educators Council, DreamCatcher Wealth Management, and The Minerva Foundation.

Of the 1,101 young adults from across the U.S. who answered the poll, the majority (51.4%) chose "money management" as the high school-level course they thought would be most beneficial to their personal lives.

The survey, which was conducted online, produced statistically significant results with a 99% confidence interval and a less than 4% margin of error. The goal of the survey was to measure young people's opinions about the value of personal finance education relative to other coursework commonly offered by public secondary schools.

The survey asked young adults to answer the following question: "Which of these high school-level courses would benefit your life the most?" The response categories included "mathematics (algebra, geometry)," "money management (personal finance)," "science (biology, chemistry)," and "social studies (history, government)." Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies were selected by 17.9%, 16.5%, and 14.2% of the respondents, respectively.

Another interesting finding was that, among people residing in urban areas, those who earned between $50,000 and $74,000 per year were more likely to choose "money management" as the most beneficial course than did those earning $25-49,000 annually. Complete results can be viewed at

This research was sponsored by the collaborative efforts of the NFEC, DreamCatcher Wealth Management, and The Minerva Foundation for Financial Literacy. Founder of The Minerva Foundation, Stan T. Webb is author of the book Optimize your Wealth: Your Personal Guide to Enhancing, Protecting, and Sustaining Generational Wealth. Webb is a financial literacy advocate who works across the U.S. to advise and educate individuals of all ages about managing their money effectively and achieving financial wellness.

These survey results are of particular interest because public high schools rarely – if ever – offer personal finance courses as part of their regular curriculum; and money management is largely absent from the Common Core standards.

This is the first age-specific survey conducted by the NFEC and collaborators as part of a research series aimed at examining various financial attitudes and behaviors. Later studies will seek to explore relationships between attitudes/behaviors and levels of financial capability.