Financial Literacy and Research Findings on State Mandated Financial Education and the Credit Behavior of Young Adults

Knowledge Pay$ Off Readers,

In 2010, the Maryland Department of Education mandated that personal financial literacy education be taught in specific grade bands in K-12 curricula.  That being said, each LEA has the ability to determine how best to integrate financial education into their individual school districts. This coupled with the infusion of College and Career Ready Standards, school systems and individual teachers are recognizably challenged in planning their already limited professional development time.

However, here is where the Maryland Council on Economic Education can help.  We offer free professional development in economic and financial education and provide resources to help educators teach the concepts required in the standards.  Through our institutes, workshops, and programs, we demonstrate lessons tailored to meet both Maryland Social Studies and Common Core Standards.  Additionally, we offer both content and strategies to help teachers hone students’ skills in math and reading. Teaching across the curriculum and infusing real life applications through programs like the Stock Market Game TM allow teachers the flexibility to meet multiple content standards at one time.

Given the demands on teacher time and the limited number of instruction days, are financial literacy standards important to emphasize? The Federal Reserve Board of Governors recently released a working paper titled State Mandated Financial Education and the Credit Behavior of Young Adults (2014).  This paper examines the financial education mandates in three states and its impact on the “credit behavior of young adults” (Brown et al., 2014). What the study found is that in Georgia, Idaho, and Texas (states that mandate both economics and personal finance education and assesses its outcomes) that as young adults, these students tended to have “higher credit scores and lower delinquency rates by age 22” (Brown et al., 2014). Although Maryland’s curricula and financial education approach does not specifically mirror these states, study findings may offer Maryland educators information on the potential outcomes of financial education and its significance.

In addition, personal financial literacy may prove extremely useful to students, particularly in their early adult years, given the budget constraints of young adults just beginning a new career and or for those young people experiencing difficulty in transitioning to the workforce. For as of November 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for young adults was 10.9%, a rate significantly higher than the overall rate of 5.8% — certainly, an important reason to help students build the skills necessary to make informed financial decisions.

Teachers, we hope you will consider attending one of our upcoming workshops or institutes, and/or enroll your students today in the Stock Market Game TM, the Poster Contest, Economic or Personal Finance Challenge.  Be sure to check out the MCEE website ( ) for more information.

On behalf of the Maryland Council on Economic Education, we wish you a wonderful and joyous holiday season!


Works Cited:

Brown, A., Collins, J.M., Schmeiser, M. & Urban, C. (2014). State Mandated Financial Education and the Credit Behavior of Young Adults. Retrieved on September 30, 2014, from

Unemployment Rate for Young Adults, (November 2014). Retrieved on December 8th, 2014 from