High School Financial Literacy

Financial literacy education for Iowa high school students

Many of our every day decisions have a financial impact, which makes personal finance a crucial skill. It applies in almost every aspect of life. It’s especially important in high school, before students venture on their own and manage their own wealth. Financial Skills for Smart Living® will fill the void in high school financial literacy education.

Financial Skills for Smart Living® is a college-level personal finance course customized for Iowa high school students and adapted for high school faculty delivery. Qualified juniors and seniors who take this course will gain a clear understanding of the fundamentals of personal finance. Unlike other high school personal finance course options, Financial Skills for Smart Living® gives students the opportunity to earn college credit after passing the final exam. In addition, high school faculty who teach the course can receive professional development and support from Wilson Business faculty and staff. 


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The only course of its kind to offer college credit to students who complete the requirements.

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The course meets the Iowa 21st Century Financial Literacy standards and includes all topics in the Senate File 2415 related to personal finance class.

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No masters degree needed to teach the course. 


Financial Skills for Smart Living® Sample Lessons 

The financial skills gained in this course will arm high school students with the confidence needed to succeed in life, regardless of their plans after graduation. Units are designed to address goal setting, financial statements, careers, saving and investing, credit and loans, insurance and retirement planning. Lessons include:

  • ‌Take Control of Your Financial Future
  • Preparing for the Good Life: Setting Goals
  • Income and Expense Statement: A Look at the Past
  • Budget: A Spending Plan for the Future
  • Why You Need to Know Your Credit Score and More
  • How to Buy Your First Car with Confidence
  • Insurance: Providing Protection from the
  • Retirement: What You Need to Know Now to Live the Good Life Later
  • Using Financial Statements and Ratios to Determine Your Financial Well-Being
  • Choosing a Career
  • Creating a Resume
  • Writing a Cover Letter
  • Interview Techniques
  • Job Search Strategies
  • Job Offers: Looking Beyond the Salary
  • Your paycheck and deductions


Students can earn college credit

​At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to take a final exam. Those who pass will earn three hours of college credit that can be used to further their education. The cost of the final exam is $100. 

‌Low cost for schools to adopt

The cost for access to this curriculum, annually improved and enhanced, and the opportunity for students to earn college credit is $100/year for each teacher using the resources.


Continuing education available to all teachers, no matter the curriculum

While Iowa school districts have a wide range of options available for a financial literacy curriculum, there are few options in Iowa for the continuing education necessary for educators to teach this topic. We are committed to providing the continuing education all teachers need, no matter which curriculum their district chooses. In partnership with the Iowa Credit Union Foundation, UNI will provide Iowa teachers continuing education in financial literacy with the option of earning graduate credit.

Bring UNI's Financial Literacy Curriculum To Your High School


Founding Sponsors





Partners ($50,000 and Above)



Iowa Bankers Association


Lincoln Savings Bank


Veridian Credit Union



Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services


Supporters: ($10,000-$49,999)

Green State Credit Union

Friends ($5,000-$9,999)

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