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New Georgia law requires high school students to take financial literacy

Financial literacy for students
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 9:42 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A new law requires some Georgia high school students to complete financial literacy courses as a graduation prerequisite. Supporters of the legislation say teen classes on money management feels long overdue.

“You have to make mistakes to learn right,” Cuong Le, a senior at Georgia State University, explained of his spending habits.

On the campus, much like any other college, it’s common to find students relying on the trial and error method when it comes to the dollars and cents.

“I took out a lot of loans, I wish I would have done more scholarships so I wouldn’t be in so much debt,” explained Jordan Lewis. The 22-year-old says she only learned fiscal responsibility this year thanks to social media.

“TikTok,” she laughed. “I created a budgeting planner to write how much I am spending a month. So I started budgeting that way.”

Similarly, freshman Nate Green says he wish he had access to education resources on spending and saving before he got to college.

“When you in [grade] school, they don’t teach you about how to budget, finance.” Adding, “they teach you problems, never how to fix them.”

Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed a high school financial literacy law into effect. The graduation prerequisite means either 11th or 12th graders must earn half a credit in a course that tackles budgeting and credit.

Nationwide, as of this year about 23 percent of students have done so, according to an education report released by Next Gen Personal Finance.

Additionally, about 25 states already require something similar for students.

Supporters say it’s critical because the pandemic and inflation have exacerbated financial troubles for families.

“That’s amazing, cut back on debt. People won’t be messed up out here,” Green told CBS46.

Lewis says, “Now they’ll already be prepared for what that looks like when they arrive to college.”