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“The day-to-day relevance of economic concepts and financial responsibility will only continue to increase as the world is rapidly transformed by science and technology. Providing students with the practical tools they need to apply that knowledge will help them succeed financially by creating businesses, driving innovation, and achieving personal dreams.”

-Richard D. Fairbank, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Capital One Financial Corporation

“Economics education is about much more than money; it provides students with a framework for making good decisions that will help them and the country.”

-Alan B. Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Industry leaders, scholars, and policymakers agree that economic and financial literacy is crucial to succeed in modern society. Yet research shows that many lack even a basic understanding
of economic and financial concepts. According to the National Financial Educators Council, youth on average scored less than 60% on a national financial literacy test. The Nation’s Report Card on the state of 12th graders’ economic literacy showed similarly dismal results – only 43% of students tested at or above proficient on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) economics assessment. Evidence of the adverse effects of economic and financial illiteracy is legion, and recent studies show that millennials struggle the most. For example,

  • According to Moody’s Analytics, Americans under the age of 35 have a savings rate of negative 2%
  • A FINRA study of millennials aged 18 to 34 found that 67% have no rainy day funds, 60% aren’t saving for retirement, and 43% use costly non-bank borrowing methods
  • Wells Fargo’s 2014 Millennial Study found that among U.S. adults aged 22-33, 56% say that they are “living paycheck to paycheck” and 40% say their debt is “overwhelming”

(Please refer to our Industry Data page for additional research on the problem of economic and financial illiteracy.)

The Council for Economic Education (CEE) is uniquely positioned to close this widening knowledge gap and allow students to successfully navigate 21st century life and reach their full potential. CEE is the leading organization in the United States that focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school. We do this primarily by educating the educators: providing the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire, and guide. Our goal is to reach and teach every child in the United States to create a more informed citizenry capable of making better decisions as savers, investors, borrowers, voters, and participants in the global economy. We are well on our way to achieving that goal. CEE currently reaches teachers and students in all 50 states – annually training approximately 55,000 educators in person throughout the country, who in turn teach about 5 million students. And our efforts are working. CEE’s professional development workshops are consistently highly rated by educators across the country, and students have exhibited meaningful achievement gains as a result of CEE’s resources and teacher training. For example, a nationwide study on the impact of CEE’s Learning, Earning, and Investing curriculum showed a 41% increase in student test results in classrooms in which the teachers used and received training in the curriculum.

For more information on our reach and impact, please visit our Metrics page. You can also hear feedback on how we’re doing directly from our target community on our Hear from the Teachers and Hear from the Kids pages.