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Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy to Become a Required Grad Credit

Starting with the Class of 2026, there is a new graduation requirement to earn a Financial Literacy credit. The new semester-long Financial Literacy course will be offered to Juniors in the fall of 2024, and to Juniors and Seniors starting in the fall of 2025.

How Can Students Earn This Credit?

Students can complete this requirement anytime during their 11th or 12th grade year through one of the following options:

CTE Credit Option

  • CTE Financial Literacy Course at their high school

Elective Credit Options

  • Running Start
    • Pierce College - Course COLLG115
    • Green River Community College - Course BUS173
    • Highline Community College – Course BUSN 133
  • External Online Course (Cost-associated)
    • BYU - FINL041
    • Red Comet - WA Personal and Family Finance
  • Knowledge Exam - 10th and 11th grade students can take the proctored Next Generation Personal Finance Certification assessment, allowing them to challenge the financial literacy course. The exam will be available for 10th grade students in March and 11th grade students in November. The course challenge option is only available for 11th grade students not enrolled in financial literacy during their current school year.
    • Exam Standards
      • Banking - Describe checking/savings account management, unbanked factors, saving strategies/challenges, and online/mobile banking navigation.

      • Behavioral Economics - Explain influences on financial decisions including personal values, cognitive bias, loss aversion, endowment effect, sunk costs, herd mentality, FOMO, confirmation bias, overconfidence, and hedonic adaptation.

      • Budgeting - Build a strategic budget based on goals set for housing, transportation, and food priorities.

      • Consumer Skills - Identify the role of a consumer and the impacts of social media, advertisements, research, identity theft, and scams/fraud on spending.

      • Insurance - Describe basic insurance cost/benefits, auto insurance coverage, renter/homeowner insurance, health insurance, and life/disability insurance.

      • Investing - Explain the management of risk factors involved in investment, stock, bond, and portfolio funds and ties to retirement income.

      • Managing Credit - Describe factors related to debt management, credit report use, credit score calculations, and building credit.

      • Paying for College - Demonstrate understanding of college costs and benefits, FAFSA application, scholarships and grants, student loans, financial aid packages, and loan repayments.

      • Taxes - Explain tax basics including requirements and purpose of paystub, W-4, and 1040 forms and how to use them.

      • Types of Credit - Explain the basics of consumer credit, credit cards, credit scores, loans, mortgages, and predatory lending.

When Was This Requirement Approved?

In March 2022, the Puyallup School Board approved modifying PSD high school graduation requirements to include a 0.5 credit semester-long financial literacy course.

The new graduation requirement will be in place for the Class of 2026 and beyond.

How Will The Course Help Students?

The financial literacy course graduation requirement will help ensure all graduates have the knowledge and skills to manage financial resources, such as:

  • Managing a bank account 
  • Creating a budget
  • Establishing credit 
  • Filing taxes
  • Retirement 
  • Investing

This also puts PSD ahead of the curve on state graduation requirement changes that will require financial literacy for students beginning in 2029.

Need More Information?

You can find all current graduation credit requirements on page 12 of our High School Course Catalog.