What's Required in Your State? The Role of Personal Financial Education in the Southeast

Throughout the Southeast, personal finance instruction varies how and whether it is included in the curriculum. What follows is an overview of the current status of personal finance instruction for states in the Sixth Federal Reserve District. Note that the curriculum in each state continues to change and evolve as standards are revised and new legislation is passed.


Alabama recently added the one-credit Career Preparedness course. This required course is generally offered in the ninth grade and integrates the areas of career development, financial literacy, and technology. Personal finance topics covered in the course include:

  • Personal decision making
  • Academic and career development
  • Managing finances and budgeting
  • Saving and investing
  • Banking and financial institutions
  • Credit and debt
  • Risk management and insurance


In June 2014, Florida added a financial literacy strand as part of social studies standards for grades 4, 8, and 9-12. The financial literacy strand in these grades focuses on subject matter related to:

  • Earning income
  • Buying goods and services
  • Saving
  • Using credit
  • Financial investing
  • Protecting and insuring property

At the high school level, the content has been integrated into the existing Economics course. Students graduating in 2017 have a requirement to take the revised Economics with Financial Literacy course, or an accelerated economics course that includes appropriate financial literacy content.


Within Georgia's required high school Economics course, often taught in grade 12, is a Personal Finance domain with six standards. The Personal Finance domain includes:

  • Personal spending and saving choices
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Costs and benefits of using credit
  • Insurance and other risk-management strategies
  • Earnings of workers in the marketplace

Also at the high school level, the career technology area has an elective financial literacy course as part of its Financial Management and Services career pathway. At the elementary and middle school levels, a personal finance standard is mandated as part of the Economics domain in K–8 social studies.


In Louisiana, all high school students are required to take a one-unit course in civics, which contains personal finance content, including:

  • Examining the relationship between education, training, and career options
  • Creating a budget
  • Evaluating credit, savings, investment, and insurance services
  • Applying financial data to real-life situations
  • Analyzing benefits and risks of using credit

Students pursuing a career diploma can take Financial Literacy (formerly Financial Math) to fulfill one of the four required math units.


Mississippi offers an elective, one-semester Personal Finance course for high school students. Additionally, Personal Finance is a module in both the Career and Technical Education Business Fundamentals full-year course at the high school level and in the grade 8 Information Computer Technology II (ICT II) framework.


In addition to a required half-credit Economics course, Tennessee has a required half-credit high school Personal Finance course. Revised standards for the Personal Finance course were implemented in the fall of 2014 with all standards including actionable, hands-on learning and projects. Subject matter covered in the Personal Finance course includes:

  • Financial responsibility and personal decision making
  • Education, careers, and income
  • Planning and money management
  • Credit and debt
  • Risk management
  • Saving and investing

Course substitutes for Personal Finance include the one-credit Agricultural Business and Finance course as well as three years of JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps).

Personal finance outreach in the Southeast

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta conducts personal finance outreach in each of these states. To learn more about upcoming programs in your area, visit our calendar of events or contact your local Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta education specialist.

By Jackie Morgan, senior economic and financial education specialist, Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


Alabama Career Preparedness Course Standards, Alabama State Department of Education

Florida Course Descriptions, Florida Department of Education

Florida Social Studies Standards, CPALMS – Florida State University

Georgia Social Studies K–5 Standards, Georgia Department of Education

Georgia Social Studies 6–8 Standards, Georgia Department of Education

Georgia High School Economics Course Standards, Georgia Department of Education

Georgia High School Financial Literacy Course Standards, Georgia Department of Education

Louisiana High School Civic Course Standards,Louisiana Department of Education

Mississippi Business and Technology Course Standards, Mississippi Department of Education

Tennessee Personal Finance Course Standards, Tennessee Department of Education