Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide – Section I, Career Planning & Management, Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy

As defined by the National Financial Educators Council, financial literacy refers to whether one has acquired the “skills and knowledge on financial matters to confidentially take effective action that best fulfills an individual’s personal, family, and community goals.” This broad definition generates opportunity as well as challenges for school personnel to find ways to include financial literacy into the curriculum.  Creating deliberate linkages with the ILP initiative may be helpful. For example helping students understand that remedial courses in college or changing majors can have considerable economic implications by adding additional costs to completing one’s postsecondary degree or certificate.  As students increase their financial literacy, it should be expected that students will begin making more cost-conscious decisions when choosing which college to attend.  The financial literacy education resources that follow are available free from their respective organizations.  Each provides an example of the kind of resources that can be found online to help educators with this special emphasis area:

Sample ILP Activity

Federal and State Resources

Nonprofit Organization Resources

  • National Endowment for Financial Education. NEFE Homepage.
  • The Jump$tart Coalition Clearinghouse of Free Resources contains links to a number of financial literacy tools, including:
  • Bank It. Bank It is an online financial literacy program that is designed to help parents and teens understand, talk about, and manage their money.  Through use of both a website and guidance on how to conduct live, local workshops, Bank It covers 12 key financial topics, including budgeting, setting goals, investing, charitable giving, earning income, credit and debt, and insurance.
  • Budget Lesson. This lesson uses candy to illustrate a balanced budget plan and the importance of having a spending plan.  Designed for Middle and High School students, the resource provides directions easy for use.  This resource supports the grade level Michigan Educational Standards.  A student handout is included.
  • Check It Out! This lesson is about checking accounts for middle and high school students.  The list includes the following materials: teacher or guest speaker notes, blank checks and check register handouts, reconciliation sheets, and a True or False quiz.  This resource supports Michigan Educational Standards and Benchmarks.
  • Citigroup Financial Education Curriculum. This free K-adult financial education curriculum, revised in 2006, is adaptable for schools, after-school programs and community-based organizations.  The lessons address selected national standards in personal finance, math, social science, language arts, and economics.  English and Spanish versions of the curriculum are available online, on CD-ROM, or in a 3-ring binder.
  • Building Native Communities - INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE. This is a workbook for Native American students, high school through adult. It provides an overview of investing in an easy-to-use format. The interactive exercises can be used in classrooms, teacher education workshops, and for self-directed learning.
  • Wisconsin Education Communications Board, Media for Wisconsin's Schools. Financial Literacy: Teach It!

Specific Financial Literacy Resources for Students with Disabilities

  • Disability Benefits 101.Youth & Disabilities Benefits. Portal for tools and information for four states: California, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
  • VISA. Financial Soccer. Financial Soccer. The National Disability Institute worked with VISA on this website to include a number of disability-related questions and answers.


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