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States start to require courses in financial literacy

on .

By Casey McDermott, USA TODAY

Starting this fall, Virginia high school students will need more than reading, writing and arithmetic to snag a diploma.

Incoming high school freshmen will be required to take a one-credit course outlining the ABCs of economics and personal finance.

Virginia joins a handful of states, including Missouri, Utah and Tennessee, that mandate a class in financial education. Similar legislation aimed at improving students' financial literacy has been introduced in Maryland, while several states require teachers to weave personal finance lessons into existing coursework.

Combined with grassroots efforts by non-profits and financial institutions, it's all part of a nationwide push to keep Generation Y from making money mistakes that could haunt them long after they graduate from college.

For younger children, the "Money Matters: Make it Count" partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Charles Schwab Foundation has brought financial literacy lessons to more than 245,000 students since it made its debut in 2004.

FULL ARTICLE AT http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/2011-08-12-personal-finance-courses_n.htm