A Financial Head Start for Middle School Students

Author: Quinn Keatley
Major: Actuary Science
Approved: Spring 2021
Status: In progress

For my research my goal is to get a more detailed look into what financial education programs (if any) exist in the Roanoke area, and develop strategies and programs to improve them.  Financial education is one of the most important skills one should learn before graduating high school and becoming an adult.  Despite this, financial education is still rarely, if at all, taught in schools.  Economics and personal finance courses are currently required in most Virginia high schools, but they lack key topics.  In addition to this lack of information and poor teaching style (from personal experience), high school is a late start to financial education considering a large portion of 15-16-year olds hold jobs.  Financial education is currently difficult to implement into a curriculum because so few adults have experience with these topics, and most do not feel comfortable explaining them.  With my research I would like to do a comparison of Chesterfield County’s personal finance and economics program to that of Roanoke County’s to get a better look into the basis of current financial education.  Although these courses are taught at the high school level, a comparison will help further my understanding of how different areas are treating the course and how successful it is.  Using this research and my knowledge of economics and financial subjects, I will develop a program for middle school age students that uses the most effective strategies, while talking about more basic and useful subjects.