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The Financial Literacy Crisis in America 2023 Report by Ramsey Education Finds 88% of U.S. Adults Didn’t Feel Prepared to Handle Money After Graduating High School

APRIL 3, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Graduating from high school is often a rite of passage into adulthood for young Americans. But figuring out how to pay for college, afford rent and groceries each month, and save for the future can be overwhelming. The Financial Literacy Crisis in America 2023 report by Ramsey Education found Americans feel high school left them unprepared for handling money. And while the focus on personal finance education has been increasing nationwide in recent years, for many Americans in the workforce, the lack of that education has had a lasting impacts.  
“Money is something we all should know how to handle going into the real world, yet it’s clear many people are left in the dark,” said Kristina Ellis, college finance expert and Ramsey Solutions Personality. “Learning solid money principles early  — such as how to budget, save, and spend wisely — is crucial for success in your adult life.”  
Three in 4 Americans said that after high school, they “often” or “sometimes” felt stress because of money. But adults who took a personal finance class in high school were five times more likely to say they graduated fully prepared for handling money in the real world.  
“This last year has been so hard for people financially, and I feel for them,” Ellis said. “My hope is more states will require this education for graduation so in times of inflation or when their budgets feel tighter, more Americans are ready to handle their money and succeed.”  
Other findings from the report include:  

  • Eight in 10 Americans said they would’ve had a better start with money if they’d learned about personal finance in high school. 

  • Only 17% of U.S. adults said they took a class on personal finance in high school. 

  • Currently, only 17 states require a personal finance course to graduate high school.  

About The Financial Literacy Crisis in America | The Financial Literacy Crisis in America is a biannual research study conducted by Ramsey Solutions to gain an understanding of personal growth behaviors, attitudes and opinions of everyday Americans. The nationally representative sample with 2,353 U.S. adults was fielded from Dec. 2 to Dec. 6, 2022, using a third-party research panel. 
About Ramsey Education | Ramsey Education, a division of Ramsey Solutions, was created more than 20 years ago in response to the common statement about personal finance, “I wish I had learned this in high school!” In 2008, Ramsey Solutions developed a personal finance curriculum for high school students, “Foundations in Personal Finance,” and it has since impacted the lives of over 6 million students. With additional personal finance curriculum for higher education institutions and a high school entrepreneurship curriculum, Ramsey Education wants to see every student in America enter adulthood with the knowledge and skills to handle money confidently and ultimately live up to their fullest potential. 

Media Contact:  
Sara Gammell, Sr. Publicist