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Are You Financially Smarter Than a 12th Grader?


By Goalsetter
April 2, 2024

This report quizzed more than 1,000 students at three of our nation’s Top Ten universities on their knowledge based on 15 questions that have been mapped out to K-12 financial literacy standards.

The results showed that even among our most academically elite, basic financial education concepts and terms are lacking.

  • Students scored a failing grade of 51% with underclassmen scoring even lower at 48%.
  • Before taking the quiz, 55% of students believed that they had “a solid understanding of core personal finance concepts.” This number dropped to 30% post quiz.
  • Only 48% understood compound interest over simple interest.
  • The 50/30/20 rule of budgeting was only understood by 48% of quiz participants. 

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Founded by Tanya Van Court in 2016, Goalsetter is an education-first family finance and technology platform offering credit unions a 360° solution for reaching their next generation of members. A former Nickelodeon and Discovery Education executive, Tanya had a long career trajectory in creating digital products, but it wasn't until her 8-year-old daughter asked for an investment account and a bike for her ninth birthday that she realized her true calling. In that moment, she knew if she could get every kid in America to become a saver and investor instead of a consumer, she could change the world. And so, Goalsetter was born.