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The State of Financial Literacy

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Educators, policymakers, and parents are actively looking for ways to improve the level of education and professional development high schoolers are receiving. But what about personal finance? What good is a source of income if that income can't be managed? In a recent poll of over 5,000 high school seniors in 37 states, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy found that, while respondents showed minimal improvements from the previous year, on average students were able to answer only a little more than half of the survey questions correctly. (Microsoft Word required)

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An actual class on responsible adult responsibility class would be advantageous to all students. Currently, in my area only those expected to not attend college are instructed in the ways to fill out employment applications and balance checkbooks. Examples are a young man of 19 who had no clue whether he needed a work permit or not, even though the application asked "If under 18, do you need a work permit?" and another twenty year old who could not decern what relocate meant.
Too many college freshman waste hindreds or more dollars on overdraft charges simply because they do not know how much is in their checking account, having never balanced their checkbooks. These days of debit cards make the situation even tougher.

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