Several answers and comments have postulated ignorance of the most basic financial features, for example, a total misapprehension of "marginal tax rate". See, for example, the comments under the answer of Raj to the question Is it wise to pay off my mortgage with money from my 401k.
My question is:
What do we know (not surmise) about elementary financial education at the pre-college and early college levels in the US for institutions that otherwise are recognized as providing good educations ? How rare is such financial education?
Factual information only, please. No opinions. If the answer is that we don't know because the pertinent data set is empty, that is an answer.
My highly ranked high school provided no financial education whatsoever, but that was decades ago. Have, or are, things changed/changing in this respect?
Addendum in Response to Comments About Ranking High Schools: Several commenters expressed doubt that high schools are ranked. However, see McLean, Langley High School Rank in Top 20 on Washington Post List, which says (among other information):
MCLEAN, VA: McLean High School ranked at #7 on The Washington Post's "D.C. Area Schools" list of "America's Most Challenging High Schools." Langley High School placed at #20. Washington International in Washington, D.C. took the top spot.
U.S. News and World Report also posted its list of "Best High Schools" this week. The rankings are not the same because each news site analyzes data to rank schools on a different basis..........
The Washington Post says it determines the D.C. area ranking by dividing the number of seniors who graduated last year by the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school that year.
On a separate list, The Washington Post ranked "National Schools," for nearly 2,300 high schools nationwide.
What does the Addendum have to do with Personal Finance? Plenty. There is currently a brouhaha about redrawing the boundaries so that some Langley students will be moved to another high school. There is a lot of angst about this, not only because Langley is rated higher than the other HS, but because the ratings-differential is reflected in property values. Even people who have no school-age children face a non-trivial loss of value in their houses if they end up on the wrong side of the new line.