New Report Gives Iowa a ‘C’ for Financial Literacy

statemap-smallChamplain College’s Center for Financial Literacy in Burlington, Vt. has recently graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) on their efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates, and Iowa received a ‘C’ on its report card.

In this 2015 report, states were measured on whether they had personal finance instruction as a graduation requirement, made personal finance education a part of a required course, or had substantive personal finance topics in its academic standards that local school districts are expected to teach.

Just five states in the country scored an A: Utah, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia. These five states are the only ones in the country that require students take a dedicated semester of personal finance courses to graduate.

In the report, it is noted that Iowa does not have a specific personal finances course as a graduation requirement, but that the Iowa Core does contain a financial literacy standard. Iowa was also given “extra credit” for its 2014 Iowa Financial Literacy Work Team Report, which includes eight specific recommendations for improving financial literacy in the state.

This is the second time Champlain has produced such a report card, with the last report card being issued in 2013. Iowa received a ‘C’ on the 2013 report card as well.

Click here to read the 2015 Champlain report.

In related news, Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter recently called on all three of Iowa’s public universities to develop some sort of mandatory financial literacy course to help address the issue of student debt. Click here to read more in an article from the Cedar Rapids Gazette.