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High school grads financially illiterate, says survey


Washington Crossing, PA – More than half of teachers feel that high school students have not been adequately educated in financial matters when they graduate, according to a survey for Wi$eMoney®, the team-based financial literacy game developed by The Learning Key Inc. (

The financial subjects that students today most need to be educated in are: managing a budget, saving and investing money, credit cards, and paying bills, according to the survey of more than 200 educators nationwide for Wi$eMoney®.

The best time for students to begin receiving education in financial matters is starting in their junior year, the teachers said.

According to the results of the Wi$eMoney® Financial Literacy Survey, which was completed by educators throughout the U.S. who belong to the Business Professionals of America:

- 51% of teachers said students are either somewhat or very financially illiterate after graduating high school. One in five (19%) teachers said students are very financially illiterate, and 32% said students are somewhat illiterate in financial matters when graduating high school.

- Only 2% of educators feel that graduating seniors are very well-versed in financial matters.

- Managing a budget is the subject in which teachers feel students need to receive education in the most, selected by 93% of respondents. Other financial subjects in which students should be educated are:
saving and investing money (chosen by 92%)
credit cards (91%)
paying bills (87%)
managing debt (84%)
banking (84%)
interest rates (82%)
difference between “wants” and “needs” (82%)
identity theft (81%)
unexpected financial surprises (81%)

- Junior year is the best grade for students to begin receiving financial education, according to 76% of the teachers. Other years the teachers recommended students should receive financial education are:
senior year (73%)
sophomore year (59%)
freshman year (49%)
7th-8th grades (36%)
6th grade and below (19%)

“A number of the surveyed teachers said they didn’t think their schools do enough to prepare students for the real world in financial matters,” said Elizabeth Treher, Ph.D., founder, President and CEO of The Learning Key Inc., which has been transforming learning into action through team-based games and simulations for more than 20 years.

“The teachers, in general, are concerned that students are not aware of the financial responsibilities they will encounter when they become independent of their parents. Many said they feel that basic financial education should be introduced to students as soon as they enter high school, and that it should become more involved until they graduate,” Treher added.

Now used by schools and financial organizations, Wi$eMoney® is an interactive, reusable, team-based game that teaches about financial planning, budgeting, banking, investing, credit and financing. It also helps players learn about identity protection and financial responsibility.

Participants’ answers have improved from 55% to 93% after playing Wi$eMoney®. The standards-based game supports basic financial curricula or can be used as a stand-alone learning tool.

Wi$eMoney® players use a game board, game cards, a financial register, timer, and spinner to learn the keys to financial literacy. The Learning Key developed Wi$eMoney® with partner Valerie Coleman Morris, an expert in financial literacy, who spent 12 years as a business anchor and reporter for CNN and CNN International.

Wi$eMoney® can be purchased by visiting or calling (800) 465-7005.

About The Learning Key Inc.
The Learning Key Inc. has been transforming learning into action through team-based games and simulations for more than 20 years. The company designs custom board games and simulations, training, and instructional design for organizations in educational, banking, information services, pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, and other industries. For more information, visit or call (800) 465-7005.


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 financial education
 financial planning
 team-based games
 financial games

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