April 21, 2008


If you were unimpressed by the failing grade posted for the financial literacy scores measured in a 2006 National Survey of High School Seniors (52%), you're not likely to be inspired by the most recent report released this month detailing the 2008 results ...

In the Jump$tart Coalition biennial survey, students correctly answered only 48% of the questions. The overall conclusion isn't much of a reach. "Graduating high school seniors continue to struggle with financial literacy basics." This year did mark the first time college students were involved with the survey. While college students did better overall, 62%, results are still miserable. Not surprisingly, scores improved [albeit slightly] with rank in school:

Freshmen - 59%
Sophomore - 61%
Junior - 62%
Senior - 65%

While you can download the detailed results of the survey at http://www.jumpstart.org, some scary findings were summarized:

- 55% of students were unaware they could lose their health insurance if their parents became unemployed.

- Only 17% correctly answered that stocks would most likely yield higher returns than savings bonds, savings accounts, and checking accounts over the next 18 years.

- Only 48% knew that a credit card holder that paid only the minimum due on their balance would pay more in annual finance charges than a cardholder that pays the balance in full monthly.

FRIGHTENING! We've definitely got a long way to go!