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Pathway to Financial Success
in Schools

Empower high school students to take control of their financial futures. Educators can help students and their families explore comprehensive financial literacy resources to gain the tools and skills they need to make sound financial decisions and achieve their personal goals.

Learn more about the program
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Start Your Journey to Financial Success

Take your students on a financial literacy journey this semester with a turn-key suite of resources that will give them the skills and habits they need to be financially successful when they leave your classroom. These self-contained financial literacy units are crafted for flexible use as single-class learning experiences or thematic units. Select a unit below to view more information.

Explore Our Educator Tools
Learn how to implement the unit-based curriculum and make the most of the resources with our educator guides. Use our program guide to see how you can use this flexible curriculum to meet the varying needs of your community.

Download Program Educator Guide

Unit 1

Being Financially Responsible

Learn how to manage money wisely. These resources will provide a strong foundation for building a financially responsible future.   

Download Unit 1 Educator Guide

Explore Unit 1 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Imagining Your Financial Future

    What does the future hold for you? How will your goals change over time? Use this introduction to personal goal setting to begin creating your vision for the future and taking steps to achieve it.

    Topic 1

    Imagining Your Financial Future

    LearnVest

    Resource Summary

    After answering a series of questions - everything from what kind of vehicle they want to have to who will watch their kids - students are given a cost for their lifestyles and an approximate annual income needed to support those lifestyles.

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    Students determine personal and financial goals and develop financial plans. (Free login required to download.)

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Feed the Pig

    Resource Summary

    Best practices for setting goals, determining milestones, and developing good money habits are shared on this site.

  • Topic 2

    Setting SMART Goals

    What are your financial goals? How can you increase your chances of achieving those goals? Make connections between personal and financial goals and reinforce why people should set financial goals.

    Topic 2

    Setting SMART Goals

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    Students explore their goals for the future, what decisions in life are goal-worthy, and how goal setting can help with money management. After learning about and practicing writing SMART goals, students learn the importance of tracking progress towards a goal. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    After brainstorming situations in which they might spend more than $100, students discuss the consequences of NOT having goals. Students use the Money Management Workbook and create SMART goals - first for fictional characters and then for themselves. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    StickK

    Resource Summary

    Websites and apps such as StickK allow users to set goals, track progress, and get support.

    Edutopia

    Resource Summary

    Not all goals come true, but there is a great deal to learn from failed attempts. This playlist of short videos offers ways to learn from one’s failures.

  • Topic 3

    Examining Money Habits

    What are your current habits when it comes to money? Are they helping or preventing your future financial success? Explore current financial habits, how they may impact your future, and how you can reframe habits towards success.

    Topic 3

    Examining Money Habits

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    Individuals share videos about their careless spending and impulse purchases.

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    After answering 12 questions, users find out if they are a pathfinder, trooper, nomad or tenderfoot and learn about financial identities.

    LearnVest

    Resource Summary

    This self-assessment helps students figure out their beliefs about money.

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Feed the Pig

    Resource Summary

    Habits take time and effort to change. This resource provides suggestions for improving on a variety of money habits.

  • Topic 4

    Budgeting for Success

    How does developing a budget help you manage your money? Learn how to build a budget and harness tools to help you avoid pitfalls along the way.

    Topic 4

    Budgeting for Success

    Utah State University Extension

    Resource Summary

    Students learn the value of using a budget in this hands-on activity.

    Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

    Resource Summary

    After entering income and expenses, this calculator determines whether a budget is balanced.

    Financial Entertainment

    Resource Summary

    Students serve as the choreographer and financial manager for Angel Alvarez, a competitive dancer trying to dance and save her way to LA.

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students complete a spending plan for the Brown family and give them advice. The lesson includes a spending plan template in Excel (Free verified educator login required to access.)

  • Topic 5

    Spending Wisely

    How can you make informed spending decisions? Explore resources to track personal spending, differentiating between wants and needs, and making informed spending decisions.

    Topic 5

    Spending Wisely

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    Students learn that financial recordkeeping is a sound financial practice, prioritize wants and needs, and develop a budget. (Free login required to download.)

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    This lesson begins with students comparing store brand and name brand items and then teaches them to make informed purchases. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    This flowchart provides a process for determining whether or not to buy something.

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students learn about advertising in history and the impact of advertising in modern day.

    Federal Trade Commission

    Resource Summary

    Today’s teens are influenced by more than just advertising and peers. Online influences can play a major role in buying decisions. The Federal Trade Commission offers tips about online influencers.

Unit 2

Using Financial Services

The number and scope of services offered by banks and other financial institutions are different now and seem to grow by the day. These resources will provide insight into this growing landscape to safely and efficiently achieve financial goals.

Download Unit 2 Educator Guide

Explore Unit 2 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Understanding Financial Institutions

    How can banks and credit unions help you achieve your financial goals? Use these resources to explore the various types of services financial institutions offer.

    Topic 1

    Understanding Financial Institutions

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    After watching a video and discussing the benefits of depository institutions such as banks and credit unions, students help a character choose a financial institution. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Feed the Pig

    Resource Summary

    Visitors learn why people bank, what account types are available, how to automate payments and savings, and the importance of avoiding fees.

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    These podcasts inform listeners about the basics of banking and how checking and savings accounts work.

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    This 5-minute video explains a variety of banking alternatives including payday lenders, pawn brokers, and check cashers and considers the costs and benefits of using these alternatives.

  • Topic 2

    Deciding Where and How to Bank

    What factors should students consider when selecting a financial institution? Learn how to compare features and costs of services offered by financial institutions.

    Topic 2

    Deciding Where and How to Bank

    Nerdwallet

    Resource Summary

    This article explores factors to consider when selecting a financial institution.

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students conduct a comparative analysis of different financial institutions and explain the differences between checking and savings accounts. (Free login required to download.)

    Council for Economic Education’s EconEdLink

    Resource Summary

    Answering questions on this worksheet helps students consider six key criteria for selecting a financial institution.

  • Topic 3

    Opening New Accounts

    What financial products will you need? How do you open an account at a financial institution? These resources can help students determine what financial products they might need and what information is needed to open an account.

    Topic 3

    Opening New Accounts

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This complete unit plan includes lessons, activities, and projects on checking basics, online and mobile banking, selecting a checking account, and checking alternatives. (Portions available in Spanish.)

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    Students follow along with a chat between Katrina and a bank representative about opening a bank account. (Portions available in Spanish.)

  • Topic 4

    Using Mobile Banking

    How can you safely bank from your phone? Explore common online and mobile banking features, and learn how to prioritize personal mobile banking needs.

    Topic 4

    Using Mobile Banking

    Federal Trade Commission

    Resource Summary

    Students learn how to protect their finances when banking online.

    National Public Radio (NPR)

    Resource Summary

    National Public Radio explains how people in Kenya are using mobile banking to improve their economic well-being.

    How Stuff Works

    Resource Summary

    This site explains how mobile banking started and what happens behind the scenes of mobile banking transactions.

  • Topic 5

    Making Everyday Purchases

    What is the difference between using cash, debit, checks, and credit? Understand the costs and benefits of using various methods of payments for everyday purchases.

    Topic 5

    Making Everyday Purchases

    NEFE’s High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students consider ways to pay for items without using cash and investigate various financial apps. Cashier checks, money orders, and wire transfers are included as methods of payment. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    This site explains various payment options including checks, debit cards, credit cards, and more.

    Time

    Resource Summary

    Using a smartphone to pay is new to many people. Students learn what to consider before using phones as a way to pay.

Unit 3

Financing Your Future

For many young people, the path to higher education can be a daunting one with long lists of deadlines to meet and forms to complete. Use these tools to map out the journey for your students and deftly maneuver through higher education financing options.

Download Unit 3 Educator Guide

Explore Unit 3 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Exploring Earning Potential

    How does education and training impact future earning potential? Understand the relationship between education, training, and lifetime earnings.

    Topic 1

    Exploring Earning Potential

    Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students learn about the relationship between human capital (education and training) and income potential and discuss factors to consider when deciding on a career path.

    Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

    Resource Summary

    This infographic compares how long it takes people with different education levels to earn a million dollars. It also shows the impact education has on both unemployment and weekly earnings.

    CNN Money

    Resource Summary

    Students find out how much they would need to earn if they moved to a different part of the country.

  • Topic 2

    Weighing Your Career Options

    How do you pick a career? Examine factors students might consider when selecting a career or employer, such as potential earnings, job availability, opportunities for advancement, and education requirements.

    Topic 2

    Weighing Your Career Options

    U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

    Resource Summary

    Students can access up-to-date information on current job trends including articles and graphic displays of data.

    U.S. Department of Labor

    Resource Summary

    This website allows students to learn about careers by searching, browsing by category, or completing an interest survey. (Also available in Spanish.)

    National Public Radio

    Resource Summary

    What are the chances a job you want will be done by a machine 20 years from now? Students discover the probability and learn what factors influence the answer. Spoiler alert: The chance of high school teachers being replaced by machines is calculated at 0.8%!

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    In this hands-on lesson, students discuss their perceptions of certain jobs and then independently research a career of interest. Students report back in small groups. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    U.S. Department of Defense

    Resource Summary

    Students interested in military service can explore information about military careers.

  • Topic 3

    Choosing Your Path After High School

    What education and/or training will you need to achieve your personal career goal? Use these resources to prepare students to develop an education and career plan.

    Topic 3

    Choosing Your Path After High School

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    This lesson helps students identify career options the education and/or training they will need. (Free login required to download.)

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    Students learn how one person compares jobs and considers the return on investment of higher education.

    U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

    Resource Summary

    Information on duties, education and training, pay, and the outlook for hundreds of occupations are available through this federal government website.

    Discovery Education

    Resource Summary

    Students can take virtual field trips and meet individuals performing a wide range of jobs.

  • Topic 4

    Financing Further Education

    What options are available to finance education and training after high school? Explore various financing options including scholarships, grants, loans, work study, apprenticeships, and military service.

    Topic 4

    Financing Further Education

    Next Gen Personal Finance and McKinney

    Resource Summary

    Playing this game helps students learn about the issues involved with paying for higher education. This worksheet can be used to gather student insight.

    Oregon GearUp

    Resource Summary

    Checklists are available to download based upon their grade in school that help students plan for higher education. (Also available in Spanish.)

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    This interactive infographic and the linked videos help students learn more about financial aid.

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This unit includes multiple lessons, activities, and projects focused on paying for college. (Portions available in Spanish.)

    NEFE’s High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    Students can explore this infographic that divides paying for college into three categories: free money (grants and scholarships), your money (savings, work-study, and jobs), and their money (loans).

  • Topic 5

    Understanding Education Financing Options

    How do you compare education financing options and make an informed choice? Explore financial aid offers to differentiate between loans and grants/scholarships, and understand specific provisions such as loan terms, associated GPA requirements, and duration of aid.

    Topic 5

    Understanding Education Financing Options

    U.S. News and World Report

    Resource Summary

    Understanding financial aid award letters isn’t always easy. This interactive infographic explains the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Shopping Sheet with short video clips detailing various sections.

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    This lesson focuses on student loan management, different college financial aid choices, and the relationship between earning potential of a degree and its cost. (Free login required to download.)

    Junior Achievement and PWC

    Resource Summary

    Using the app or website, students explore careers, the education needed, and the costs of obtaining that education. If they complete the calculator, they can examine the return on investment, too.

Unit 4

Getting Paid

Following one’s passions can result in getting the job you’ve always dreamed of, but what are the other factors that your students need to consider? This unit will provide students with the tools they’ll need to navigate the working world–both before and after they’ve landed that perfect position. 

Explore Unit 4 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Preparing for Work

    How can you get the job you want? Use these tools to understand the job-search process, including networking, research and preparation of a resume, cover letter, and job application.

    Topic 1

    Preparing for Work

    NEFE’s High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    After thinking about what they see themselves doing in ten years, students divide into small groups to investigate trends which impact job growth and then work independently to research occupations. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students learn about ways to get a job and spend time exploring cover letters, resumes, and job applications. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Read.Write.Think.

    Resource Summary

    Students enter personal information to build either a chronological or a functional resume. At the conclusion, resumes can be saved, printed, or emailed, and students are given the opportunity to compose a cover letter.

    CommonSense Media

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students explore the online presence of students applying for college admission and discuss how their digital footprints could impact their admission offers.

  • Topic 2

    Calculating Different Types of Pay

    What is the difference between earning a salary, tips, commission, or other type of pay? Explore various jobs and how different forms of payment may impact earnings.

    Topic 2

    Calculating Different Types of Pay

    University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students compare different methods of employee payment, analyze wage deductions, interpret a pay stub, and explain how being employed can provide additional benefits. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    U.S. Department of Labor

    Resource Summary

    Students learn how the minimum wage varies from one state to another.

  • Topic 3

    Comparing Job Offers

    What should you look for in a job offer? Use these tools to explore income and non-income factors, such as insurance, flexibility, and personal satisfaction when considering a job.

    Topic 3

    Comparing Job Offers

    Fidelity Investments

    Resource Summary

    Students enter information about a current job and a potential job to weigh the costs and benefits of making a change.

    TEDEd

    Resource Summary

    This video from TEDEd considers the role of passion in choosing a job. After watching, students can answer questions and dig deeper with links to additional resources.

    CalXML

    Resource Summary

    Students input information about wages, time off, and retirement benefits to calculate total compensation.

  • Topic 4

    Paying Taxes

    Why is money taken out of your paycheck? How do you benefit from paying taxes? Examine parts of a paycheck and typical deductions for taxes and benefits along with the types and purposes of taxes withheld.

    Topic 4

    Paying Taxes

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

    Resource Summary

    With 38 complete lessons and numerous simulations and tutorials, this robust teaching tool includes sections for both teachers and students on the “why’s” and the “how’s” of taxes.

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    Know Your Dough and ‘W’ is for Wages, W4, and W2 are the two lessons in this unit that focus on understanding how people are paid and the impact of taxes.

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    This lesson focuses on understanding elements of a paycheck, the impact of taxes and exemptions, and calculating gross and net income. (Free login required to download.)

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    Students can follow along as Bianca gives Luis advice on how to complete his 1040EZ  via text message.

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Feed the Pig

    Resource Summary

    Why we pay taxes, how to pay them without penalty, and ways to avoid overpaying them are some of the concepts students can learn from this site.

  • Topic 5

    Creating Your Own Job

    Could you be an entrepreneur some day? Use these resources to understand entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset.

    Topic 5

    Creating Your Own Job

    Northwestern Mutual’s The Mint

    Resource Summary

    Students answer a series of questions to find out if they have what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

    FDIC’s Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students investigate starting and maintaining a business. (Free login required to download.)

    Junior Achievement

    Resource Summary

    Students are introduced to the essential elements of a practical business plan and then challenges them to start an entrepreneurial venture while still in high school.

Unit 5

Paying Yourself First

Once young people start earning money, it can be a challenge determining how to allocate it. This unit will provide students with the tools and best practices to saving money, setting saving goals, and growing savings through interest.

Explore Unit 5 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Deciding to Save Money

    What will happen if you don't save money? Create timelines that represent the future to reframe the concept of saving from delaying gratification to insuring future gratification.

    Topic 1

    Deciding to Save Money

    University of Arizona's Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    This lesson focuses on the reasons people decide to save money and encourages students to develop a savings plan. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountant's Feed the Pig

    Resource Summary

    Students find out how long it will take them to build an emergency fund based on their personal circumstances.

    PBS NewsHour

    Resource Summary

    Many people know it is important to save yet still do not. This 12-minute video explains why so many people haven't saved enough to deal with a $400 emergency. (Note: Preview the video to make sure the content is appropriate to show in your classroom.)

  • Topic 2

    Setting Savings Goals

    What are your family's savings goals? Discuss saving for specific goals and ways to use technology to reach those goals.

    Topic 2

    Setting Savings Goals

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    This set of worksheets helps students outline short-, mid-, and long-term savings goals.

    AmericaSaves

    Resource Summary

    Students learn about saving for five different reasons: emergencies, car, education, home, and retirement.

    Financial Industry National Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

    Resource Summary

    In this interactive, students learn about setting SMART savings goals. There is also a worksheet and handout with ten "Rules for Saving."

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    After brainstorming situations in which they might spend more than $100, students discuss the consequences of NOT having goals. Students use the Money Management Workbook and create SMART goals - first for fictional characters and then for themselves. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

  • Topic 3

    Finding Money to Save

    After sharing how likely they would be to save money they receive, students work in groups to research technology services that claim to help people save money more easily.

    Topic 3

    Finding Money to Save

    America Saves

    Resource Summary

    Organized by categories such as food, entertainment, and transportation, this list offers 54 ways to help reduce costs and find money to save.

    LearnVest

    Resource Summary

    This clear, straightforward checklist provides seven steps to establish and grow a person's savings.

    NerdWallet

    Resource Summary

    This guide helps students learn how to save money on daily, monthly, and yearly expenses.

    Mashable

    Resource Summary

    Have you tried using an app to more easily save money? This article provides a review of some of the most popular apps available.

    Maryland Public Television

    Resource Summary

    Choosing to save money - or spend less - isn't always easy. In this video on behavioral economics, students learn why people often make poor financial decisions and how to make better savings choices.

  • Topic 4

    Growing Savings Through Interest

    Examine the power of compound interest including comparisons of savers that start early with small contributions and later with larger ones.

    Topic 4

    Growing Savings Through Interest

    Council for Economic Education

    Resource Summary

    This 4-minute video provides an overview of what compound interest is and how it works. Graphs show the difference between simple and compound interest and the impact of starting to save early.

    FDIC's Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    Students learn how compound interest works and how interest is calculated on savings. (Free login required to download.)

    Investopedia

    Resource Summary

    Want a quick formula to calculate how long it will take you to double your money? This video explains the rule of 72 including the impact inflation has on savings.

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

    Resource Summary

    Students determine how much their money can grow using the power of compound interest. They can also calculate how much money they will need to save each month in order to reach their goal.

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This unit includes multiple lessons, activities, and projects focused on saving and compound interest. (Free educator account required to access assessments.)

  • Topic 5

    Choosing a Savings Method

    Compare common savings methods including savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts and the benefits and trade-offs of each.

    Topic 5

    Choosing a Savings Method

    Napkin Finance

    Resource Summary

    Certificates of Deposit provide a safe way to save and often earn greater interest rates than regular savings account. This video explains how they work along with the benefits and tradeoffs.

    The Balance

    Resource Summary

    This article provides an overview of different types of savings accounts and what to look for when selecting one.

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    This lesson presents options for earning interest on your savings and shares common myths about millionaires. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    National Public Radio (NPR) Website

    Resource Summary

    Some students - depending on their heritage - may have heard of other ways to save. Called tandas or cundinas in Mexico, . pandeiros in Brazil, susus in West Africa and the Caribbean, and hui in Asia, these savings and lending circles offer an alternative to saving with a financial institution.

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    Students read an article on the benefits and tradeoffs of savings for the overall economy and answer questions in this lesson correlated to the Common Core standards for literacy in history/social studies.

Unit 6

Using Credit Wisely

Credit cards can be an essential tool for borrowing money and managing debt. Introduce your students to using credit cards, understanding credit scores, and how to manage debt.

Explore Unit 6 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Understanding Credit

    What is credit and how does it impact you? Examine what credit is and how it can be used effectively.

    Topic 1

    Understanding Credit

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This complete unit plan includes lessons, activities, projects, and a case study on credit basics, credit cards, and loans. (Free educator account required to access assessments.)

    University of Arizona's Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    This lesson provides an overview of credit including different sources and types of credit. To help students make decisions about using credit, borrowing is explained as spending future income. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    In this 3-minute video, students learn how credit cards work and the importance of using them responsibly.

  • Topic 2

    Deciding When to Use Credit

    When should you use credit and when should you avoid it? Explore the benefits and tradeoffs of using credit including the value of building credit over time, ability to build assets through using credit, and how to compare credit offers.

    Topic 2

    Deciding When to Use Credit

    Council for Economic Education

    Resource Summary

    This four-minute video provides an overview of what loans are, the 5C's of credit, and what to consider when comparing credit offers.

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students consider when they think it is a good idea to use credit. They explore when, how, and why people borrow money. They also learn about the impact borrowing has on spending power. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

    Resource Summary

    The first podcast in the Borrowing Money section helps students understand the benefits and tradeoffs associated with borrowing money.

    TransUnion

    Resource Summary

    This quiz helps students determine whether or not they are ready for a credit card.

  • Topic 3

    Checking Your Credit Report

    What is a credit report and how do you know what is in yours? Explore information found in credit reports and show students how to access their credit report.

    Topic 3

    Checking Your Credit Report

    University of Arizona's Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students discover what is included in a credit report and recommend strategies for developing a positive credit history. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    After reading an article on credit bureaus and how they work, students answer a series of discussion questions. A teacher's guide provides additional resources.

    Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion

    Resource Summary

    Once students turn 18, this is the site they should use to request free copies of their credit reports each year. Younger students may preview the site and bookmark it for future use.

    NerdWallet

    Resource Summary

    This site explains how to obtain credit reports using the AnnualCreditReport.com website as well as what to look for once they are received.

  • Topic 4

    Improving Your Credit Score

    How are credit scores used, and why is having a good one important? After discussing the loan application process, students consider their personal prospects for obtaining credit.

    Topic 4

    Improving Your Credit Score

    Federal Trade Commission

    Resource Summary

    This site from the federal government explains credit scores and how people can work to improve their score.

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    This six-minute video explains how credit scores are calculated and what impacts a person's score.

    Experian

    Resource Summary

    Students can explore this site for more detailed information on credit scores including credit utilization rates - a concept many consumers find confusing.

    Council for Economic Education

    Resource Summary

    In this 2-minute video, students meet a young entrepreneur who needs to improve his credit in order to start a business.

    FICO Simulation

    Resource Summary

    Students can use this estimator to see what their credit score might look like now and in the future. Encourage them to use different responses to the ten questions and evaluate the impact it has on the results.

  • Topic 5

    Managing Debt

    How do you develop a plan for paying off debt? Learn about two popular repayment methods: the snowball and avalanche methods to determine why individuals might prefer one method over another.

    Topic 5

    Managing Debt

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students learn that borrowers have both rights and responsibilities. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    Resource Summary

    This site provides an overview of what debt is, strategies to reduce debt, and how to work with debt collectors.

    Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB)

    Resource Summary

    At this website from the federal government, students can learn about debt collection including the difference between fair and unfair debt collection practices.

    Credit Karma

    Resource Summary

    Students can explore and compare two common strategies for paying down debt.

    The Simple Dollar

    Resource Summary

    Stories of individuals facing debt bring debt management challenges to life for students.

Unit 7

Making Major Financial Decisions

From paying for or financing major purchases to choosing an insurance plan, teach your students how to make informed choices when it comes to making major financial decisions.

Explore Unit 7 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Paying for a Vehicle

    Should you buy a used or new vehicle? What's the difference between leasing and owning? Explore the process of paying for transportation, including financing options.

    Topic 1

    Paying for a Vehicle

    University of Arizona's Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students research and select an automobile for themselves or a fictional character. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    FDIC's Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    Students examine how much they can afford to spend on a vehicle, what to expect with maintenance and insurance, and whether financing options such as loans and leases are appropriate to their situations. (Free login required to download.)

    Council for Economic Education's EconEdLink

    Resource Summary

    Students are assigned an auto loan interest rate based on credit scores received from a series of activities. They calculate the real cost of buying a car and compare the total costs for individuals with high and low credit scores. (Free login required to access entire lesson.)

    Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    Resource Summary

    At this site, students can learn about buying, leasing, renting, and maintaining vehicles. The video in the "Are Car Ads Taking You for a Ride?" section, can be used to launch a class discussion.

    University of Arizona

    Resource Summary

    Are your students planning to get a car soon? This app walks them through the car buying process in a fun and engaging way.

  • Topic 2

    Renting or Buying a Home

    When does it make sense to buy a home? Explore the benefits and trade-offs of renting and homeownership.

    Topic 2

    Renting or Buying a Home

    Council for Economic Education's EconEdLink

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students research housing costs in specific cities across the country, compare their results, and discuss affordability.

    National Endowment for Financial Education

    Resource Summary

    This six-part online course helps students analyze housing expenses and opportunity costs, decide whether to rent or own, and prepare their finances before living on their own.

    FDIC's Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    Students weigh the benefits and tradeoffs of buying or renting a home. They consider a variety of scenarios and justify decisions or offer better options. (Free login required to download.)

    The New York Times

    Resource Summary

    Deciding to buy a home is often the biggest financial decision most people will make. By adjusting the variables on this calculator, students learn factors they should consider when deciding to rent or buy.

    How Stuff Works

    Resource Summary

    This infographic provides rules of thumb for buying and renting and explores a decision between an $800 rent or a $1,000 mortgage payment.

  • Topic 3

    Understanding Insurance

    What is insurance and what influences the amount you pay? Discuss the reasons people buy insurance and approximate the cost of auto insurance given nine different factors.

    Topic 3

    Understanding Insurance

    National Association of Insurance Commissioners

    Resource Summary

    Provided by the association of state insurance commissioners, students can explore information by insurance type, life event, or life stage. A special section on teen drivers includes additional educator and parent resources.

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    Four lessons explore risk and how insurance works. One of them focuses on what students should do if they are ever involved in an auto accident and need to file an insurance claim. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This complete unit plan includes lessons, activities, projects, and a case study on insurance including auto, health, and renters insurance. (Free educator account required to access assessments.)

  • Topic 4

    Choosing an Insurance Plan

    How do you select an insurance plan? Compare and contrast plans and examine personal insurance needs to better understand the options available to students.

    Topic 4

    Choosing an Insurance Plan

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    Students complete activities to compare auto and health insurance policies. In the What Insurance Should I Buy? project students select insurance and then face scenarios in which their choices have consequences. (Free educator account required to access assessments.)

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students use the jigsaw method to research different types of insurance and share information with their group. Students also decide if they would purchase insurance for a cellphone and defend their decision. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    WebMD

    Resource Summary

    Students can explore this infographic to learn the average costs of common health procedures and consider if health insurance is worth the cost.

    Life Happens

    Resource Summary

    Students can calculate how much life insurance they might need and learn why life insurance is important for people in different situations.

  • Topic 5

    Understanding Your Consumer Rights

    How do you stand up for your rights? Discuss the concept of consumer protection with your students and have them collaborate to create their own definition.

    Topic 5

    Understanding Your Consumer Rights

    Life Smarts

    Resource Summary

    LifeSmarts offers a competition for students to show what they know about consumer issues along with resources for teachers to instruct students on consumer-related issues.

    Federal Trade Commission

    Resource Summary

    This is the U.S. government's one-stop-shop for consumer financial issues with information on what to look out for, how to prevent fraud, and which government agency to contact if you have a problem.

    Utah Education Network

    Resource Summary

    After completing this lesson, students will have a better understanding of consumer rights and responsibilities, consumer protection laws, and agencies that enforce consumer rights.

    U.S. Government

    Resource Summary

    Use this site to locate the consumer protection agencies in your state. They often have additional resources, and some may offer classroom presentations and materials.

    Consumer Jungle

    Resource Summary

    Updated monthly, this site provides articles written for a teenage audience on the latest scams facing consumers. Most include links to additional information.

Unit 8

Growing and Protecting Your Finances

Once young people have established a financial base, ensuring their money is protected is key to financial stability. Give your students the tools to understand how to responsibly invest to grow and protect their finances.

Explore Unit 8 Topics and Assets

  • Topic 1

    Understanding Investing Options

    How much risk are you willing to take with your investments? Explore the relationship between risk and reward in investing.

    Topic 1

    Understanding Investing Options

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students explore the relationship between risk and reward when investing. They research and report on different investment options and assess their own personal risk tolerance. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This complete unit plan includes lessons, activities, projects, and case studies on investing including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. (Free educator account required to access assessments.)

    Council for Economic Education

    Resource Summary

    This four-minute video explains how people make - and lose - money through investing. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds are explained.

    Rutgers Cooperative Extension

    Resource Summary

    Consisting of 11 units, this self-study course is designed for beginner investors with small amounts to invest. It starts with the basics and moves on to explain specific investments.

  • Topic 2

    Building a Diversified Portfolio

    How can you limit your risk when investing? Students discuss the need for having a diversified portfolio and then work individually to create a portfolio with at least ten companies from three or more sectors.

    Topic 2

    Building a Diversified Portfolio

    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students are given a portfolio of investments and assess the risk associated with the products in their portfolios. They later determine which savings and investment instruments might be most suitable for clients of different ages and economic status.

    Napkin Finance

    Resource Summary

    An infographic shows how diversification works. Examples demonstrate the difference between an aggressive and conservative portfolio.

    SIFMA Foundation

    Resource Summary

    In this stock market simulation, teams compete to grow a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio. Registered teachers can access lesson plans and support materials, and students can participate in the InvestWrite essay contest.

    Fidelity

    Resource Summary

    Students can build their own portfolios with this sophisticated online tool. They can choose sectors and analyze historical performance.

    The Balance

    Resource Summary

    After reading this article, students should be able to explain what index funds are and how they help investors diversify.

  • Topic 3

    Making Charitable Donations

    Explore how people donate to charity and the tax benefits of donating.

    Topic 3

    Making Charitable Donations

    FDIC's Money Smart for Young People

    Resource Summary

    This lesson explores philanthropic giving, how to devise a spending plan to meet a giving goal, and what to do if you are the recipient of a gift. It also delves into charitable giving in non-monetary ways, showing students that giving extends beyond cash. (Free login required to download.)

    University of Arizona's Take Charge Today

    Resource Summary

    Students learn that being part of a community can provide many financial and non-financial benefits. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    Teen Life

    Resource Summary

    This list provides 50 ways for teens to give back in their communities. Ideas include helping a nonprofit organization set up a social media account as well as examples of young people who have created their own organizations to help others.

    Urban Ministries of Durham and McKinney

    Resource Summary

    Do your students understand the challenges faced by people with limited financial resources? This challenge builds empathy in students by having them try to make ends meet for a month with $1,000 in savings.

    Charity Navigator

    Resource Summary

    Students can research and compare organizations to which they may wish to donate time or money.

  • Topic 4

    Avoiding Financial Fraud

    How do you prevent and avoid becoming a victim of financial fraud? Understand the different types of financial fraud and discuss the ways to prevent financial fraud and abuse.

    Topic 4

    Avoiding Financial Fraud

    Next Gen Personal Finance

    Resource Summary

    This complete unit plan includes lessons, activities, projects, and case studies that help students avoid becoming victims of financial scams and fraud such including identity theft. (Free educator account required to access assessments.)

    NEFE's High School Financial Planning Program

    Resource Summary

    In this lesson, students learn how people become the victims of financial fraud, ways to protect their personal and financial information, and what to do if they experience fraud. They apply what they learn by creating a plan to protect their personal financial information. (Free verified educator login required to access.)

    North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)

    Resource Summary

    In this game, students try to stop a million-dollar investment fraud and put the mysterious con man, "Mr. X," behind bars. In doing so, they learn how to research companies and look out for the warning signs of fraudulent investment pitches.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

    Resource Summary

    The third podcast in the Basics of Banking section provides advice to help young people learn how to prevent identity theft and what to do if they become a victim.

  • Topic 5

    Getting Help with Financial Decisions

    After brainstorming jobs that help people with various aspects of their lives, students consider the role of financial professionals.

    Topic 5

    Getting Help with Financial Decisions

    Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

    Resource Summary

    Individuals offering to help consumers with their finances could hold one of over 175 professional designations. Students can research what designations such as CFP, CPA, and EA mean and what it takes to earn each designation.

    Investopedia

    Resource Summary

    Reading this article will help students understand the benefits and tradeoffs of investing with help from a financial professional.

    Napkin Finance

    Resource Summary

    Would you trust a computer to guide your investment decisions? This infographic provides an overview of robo advisors and is followed by a chart of pros and cons for using a robo advisor.

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

    Resource Summary

    This site provides resources for both teachers and students on the field of accounting and what it takes to become one. It includes videos, virtual field trips, lesson plans, and more.

About the Partnership

Pathway to Financial Success in Schools is an exciting new program from Discover Financial Services and Discovery Education designed to empower high school students to take control of their financial futures. Explore comprehensive financial literacy curriculum through resources and classroom and family extension activities. Educators, students, and their families can explore standards-aligned materials to give them the tools and skills they need to make good financial decisions and achieve their personal goals.