Metro Atlanta zeroing in on financial literacy

Metro Atlanta zeroing in on financial literacy

2022-07-11T08:47:57-04:00May 17th, 2022|Atlanta, Banking & Finance, Education|

Writer: Liz Palmer 

financial literacy Atlanta2 min read May 2022  — With a growing spotlight on creating a more equitable community, metro Atlanta’s financial and educational institutions and organizations are working on all fronts to educate the public and increase financial literacy. 

Here’s how the region and the state are going about doing just that:

Programs, such as Atlanta-based Right Path, are seeking to close equity gaps by means of financial independence through their “My MoneyLife!” program for high-school students and “Money Move$” for college-age adults. “My MoneyLife!” delivers an interactive curriculum that simulates adulthood while “Money Move$” prioritizes meeting individuals where they are and helping them rebuild their foundation toward financial independence as they move into a post-graduate lifestyle. 

Institutions like Clark Atlanta University have also prioritized closing inequality gaps by requiring all freshmen to take the Financial Literacy Initiative, a mandatory program with the goal of preparing young adults with the foundation they need to make smart decisions as many embark on their financially independent journeys for the first time. 

Financial institutions like Fifth Third Bank are using partnership to address financial literacy in the community, exemplified in the bank’s new Empower U program for young women and girls. In partnership with Atlanta GLOW, the program will be a financial literacy boot camp taking place over four weeks and will cover the principles of personal finance and assist in achieving financial equality.

Colony Bank’s financial literacy model is for young children, those approaching retirement and everyone in between. For those at an elementary level, the bank provides games to get children interested in financial independence. Middle schoolers are taught to begin thinking critically about how they are being encouraged to spend their money. High-school students’ programming is where the solid foundation gets formed and features conversations about credit, identity theft, how to buy a car, what to know about student loans and how to optimize a paycheck. 

On a governmental level, the Federal Reserve of Atlanta offers 28 lessons for free to all ages, covering topics from price elasticity to personal finance skills, and provides additional lesson planning materials for those who are looking to teach financial literacy in the classroom. Gov. Brian Kemp is following suit. In passing SB 220 this April, Georgian students in 11th or 12th grade will now be required to take a financial literacy course before graduating and the State Board of Education will be mandated to come up with a set of standards to be met to receive credit for the class. 

According to Next Gen Personal Finance, 22.7% of high-school graduates nationwide have taken a personal finance course. As more states move to prioritize personal financial education, it is predicted that will increase to 35.1%. Georgia is the 13th state to require financial literacy education in public schools.