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More states require students to learn about money matters

Here are some questions and answers about high school money classes:

Does personal finance instruction help students make better decisions?

Yes, but the impact varies, depending on details such as the amount of instructional time and the topics covered, according to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection.

"Well-implemented state financial education mandates lead to a clear improvement in financial behaviors" the office found in an analysis published last year.

A recent study from Montana State UniversityFor example, they discovered that high school students who should receive instruction in personal finance were more likely to make smarter decisions about college pay. Students were more likely to choose less expensive financing options, ask for help and get grants, and less likely to have credit card balances. It also reduced the need for low-income students to work while they are in college, which could help them complete their degrees, according to the study.

Where can my school find information on recommended personal finance courses?

In addition to the Economic Education Council, the sources of the curriculum include National Financial Education Fund, the Federal Reserve and the JumpStart Coalition.

Where can I get help talking to my teenage son about money?

Billy Hensley, president and chief executive officer of the National Endowment for Financial Education, a nonprofit group that funds research to promote financial well-being, uses a real situation in your teenager's life. .

It is common, for example, for families to pay for school activities, such as sports uniforms, Mr. Hensley said. "That is a wonderful opportunity to start a discussion about money," he said, either on the way home from school or around the table.

For tips on how to get started, check federal websites like the ones on Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Financial Protection of the Consumer and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

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