Skip to main content

‘The stakes are really high’: Inside the growing movement to teach financial literacy to every Milwaukee kid

Quoted: “Much of that is because they themselves don’t necessarily feel like they are experts in money management,” said Melody Harvey, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies how public policies affect financial capability.

“I imagine that most parents wouldn’t want to intentionally mislead their children or give wrong information,” she said.

A decade ago, Urban and J. Michael Collins, a professor and financial security researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were part of the team that examined outcomes in Texas and Georgia after those states implemented a financial education requirement.

They looked at students’ credit reports through age 22 and found students were less likely to have a negative item on their credit report. They also borrowed more — showing they could better fill out applications for things like credit cards or a car loan — and had a lower delinquency rate on those loans than their peers in states without the graduation requirement.

“We saw that those kids who had the financial education had basically fewer mistakes in their early 20s,” Collins said.