DC ed-tech company wants student financial literacy learning to start younger

The inclusion of financial education in public schools is gaining momentum, with 12 states, including Virginia, now requiring financial literacy courses as part of high school graduation.

The inclusion of financial education in public schools is gaining momentum, with 12 states, including Virginia, now requiring financial literacy courses as part of high school graduation.

DC-based EverFi is on a mission to make this universal.



EverFi, a for-profit company, provides free digital education classes and teacher training to K-12 schools, through partnerships with corporations and foundations, and believes that teaching kids about money children should start even before high school.

“Students want to know more about money. They want to know more about the wallet issues that will affect them when they go off to college or enter the workforce,” said Ray Martinez, president and co-founder of EverFi. “Students at the age of 13 go through what is called financial socialization, beginning to develop their norms and values ​​in their relationship with money.”

Financial literacy classes should be age appropriate. EverFi’s digital courses are designed to start in elementary school.

“For 6th graders, they create an avatar and go through six different modules. Everything from understanding needs versus wants, how you save, and how you budget. For a high school student, we cover everything from student loans to how you invest your money, and they can even practice filing their taxes,” Martinez said.

While teaching kids about money should also be something that happens at home, Martinez thinks those conversations don’t happen around the dinner table. These can be uncomfortable conversations for parents with their children. Plus, the questions kids are asking these days may be beyond mom and dad’s knowledge.

“What you see today is that the financial services system is changing so fast. Everything from buy now, pay later, to peer-to-peer payments, to crypto education. I was in Puerto Rico recently working with a hundred seniors, and the number one question they had was about crypto,” Martinez said.

In addition to for-profit educational technology companies like EverFi, several nonprofits have offered financial literacy opportunities to young people, including Operation Hope, NextGen Personal Financeand junior achievement.

Since its inception in 2008, EverFi’s educational content has reached over 45 million students worldwide. Its corporate foundation sponsors include Truist, Fifth Third Bank, Zelle, MassMutual Foundation, Principal Financial and UBS.

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Sarah J. Greer