Financial Literacy

Q. What is the definition of “financial literacy?”

A. There is no single, official definition. The definition in the National Standard for K-12 Personal Finance Education, published by the Jump$tart Coalition, is: “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage one’s financial resources effectively for lifetime financial security.” This is similar to the definition adopted by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy in 2008: “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.” Others exist, as well.

Q. What is the difference between “financial literacy” and “financial capability?”

A. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but most agree that financial capability encompasses financial literacy, as well as other influences on how a consumer manages money—including social and behavioral factors and access to financial services. Outside the United States, “financial capability” is more commonly used and it is gaining favor here too. With youth, the term “financial literacy” might be more accurate, as it focuses on building knowledge and skill, rather than immediate access or applicability.

Q. How can I get involved in the financial literacy effort?

A. If you represent a national company or organization that is not already a Jump$tart partner, contact us to learn how your organization can join the coalition. If you represent a local, state, or regional company, organization or government entity, contact the Jump$tart Coalition state affiliate in your area. If you are an individual looking to volunteer, you might start by contacting your state Jump$tart affiliate.

Q. How many states have a financial education requirement?

A. That’s not an easy question to answer because there are a number of ways to define an educational “requirement.” A few states require all students to take and pass a stand-alone one-semester course in personal finance to graduate. Other states require students to receive personal finance instruction as part of another course or require schools to offer personal finance as an elective. In some cases, those students in those states are allowed to use a personal finance course to meet another educational objective. Some states set educational requirements at the county or school district level, and so those states may have some jurisdictions with a personal finance requirement. Jump$tart Coalition partner the Council for Economic Education every other year publishes its Survey of the States, which tracks requirements in finance and economics. Learn more.

Financial Literacy Month

Q. What is Financial Literacy Month?

A. Every April, individuals and organizations across the country draw attention to the importance of financial literacy and the need for more and better financial education through various activities and initiatives. Financial Literacy Month — also referred to as National Financial Capability Month — also has been recognized as Youth Financial Literacy Month and National Financial Literacy Month.

Q. When was Financial Literacy Month first recognized?

A. Financial Literacy Month evolved from Financial Literacy Day, introduced by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) more than a decade ago as an activity of its High School Financial Planning Program. NEFE turned Financial Literacy Day over to Jump$tart to promote among its network of national partners and state coalitions. Jump$tart expanded the day into Youth Financial Literacy Month and later, simply, Financial Literacy Month. April was formally recognized as Financial Literacy Month in resolutions by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives beginning in 2003.

Q. How many people/organizations participate in Financial Literacy Month?

A. Hard to know. We are delighted that so many individuals, organizations, cities, counties, states, schools and programs have found a way to mark Financial Literacy Month in exciting and unique ways that we really don’t have a count.


Q. Can you help me find a financial literacy speaker for my meeting, class, or event?

A. For a local meeting, classroom, or any event where there would be a limited budget to cover a speaker’s travel expenses, the nearest state Jump$tart affiliate may be able to suggest a local speaker from among its partners. For additional assistance, contact the Jump$tart affiliate in your state.

If you need a speaker for a national event, scroll the list of Jump$tart partners to find a wide variety of financial and financial education leaders. Jump$tart’s national staff may be able to make some suggestions—but, please note that we do not operate as a speaker’s bureau, so we would not be able to secure the speaker on your behalf.

If you are interested in having a national Jump$tart executive, officer, or consultant as a speaker, please contact us by phone or e-mail. There is no speaker fee; however, expense reimbursement may be requested.

Q. How can I be considered as a speaker for Jump$tart’s meetings and events?

A. As an organization of many partners, Jump$tart Coalition strives to serve as a platform for its partner organizations and generally turns to them to fill these roles. There is no formal process for considering other speakers; please contact us, outlining your expertise and referencing your website, if you have one. Please do not send materials that need to be returned.


Q. How can I obtain the Jump$tart program/curriculum?

A. Jump$tart does not have a curriculum of its own. As a coalition, we represent the many organizations that support and conduct financial education or create financial education resources, and our role is to promote the use of all good financial education resources and programs. To search for these financial education resources, go to the Jump$tart Clearinghouse. Materials in the Clearinghouse are aligned to the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, which can be obtained from the Jump$tart website at no cost.

Q. I have a great financial education product/program. How can I obtain Jump$tart Coalition’s endorsement or partner with Jump$tart Coalition to distribute or deliver it?

A. As a coalition of many partners, Jump$tart Coalition does not specifically or exclusively endorse any product or program. For Jump$tart Coalition national partners, we can help you raise awareness about your financial education products/programs through our website, publications, social media and events. Whether or not your organization is, or plans to become a coalition partner, you may submit your financial education resources for inclusion in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse. Submissions are subject to review for alignment with the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, but if accepted, there is no cost for the listing.

Jump$tart Coalition

Q. How can my organization/product/program/website be listed on Jump$tart’s website?

A. Financial education products and materials may be submitted to our Clearinghouse for listing. We list national partner organizations and link to their websites. Jump$tart does not advertise or feature other resources.

Q. How might I learn about job opportunities with Jump$tart Coalition?

A. We appreciate your interest but, quite frankly, there are rarely paid job opportunities with Jump$tart Coalition. At the national level, we operate with a very small staff, most of whom are actually contract consultants. There are no openings at this time and since they occur infrequently, we do not keep résumés on file. Our state coalitions operate almost exclusively with volunteers. If you are interested in working in the financial literacy field, we hope you will consider opportunities with our partner organizations.

Q. Does Jump$tart offer tours of its facility?

A. Despite its national reach, Jump$tart Coalition’s operation is rather modest and not conducive to a tour. Jump$tart executives will meet with organizations and entities from the United States and abroad to discuss Jump$tart and the U.S. financial literacy effort if scheduled in advance. Please call us or use the contact feature on this website.

Q. How do I obtain the graphic file of Jump$tart’s logo?

A. Jump$tart Coalition appreciates your interest but does not generally allow the use of its logo. National Partner organizations and affiliated State Coalitions should contact Jump$tart’s Director of Communications with your specific request. If your financial education is listed in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse, you may contact Jump$tart’s Clearinghouse Director for the Clearinghouse logo.

Financial Trouble

Q. I’m having financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. Can someone at Jump$tart advise me?

A. We’re sorry to hear that, but no, we cannot help you specifically. Jump$tart is a financial literacy advocate and does not offer financial advice or assistance.

Childhood Education

Q. Is the Jump$tart Coalition involved in literacy and early childhood education?

A. No (although, generally, we think they’re worthwhile issues); there is an organization called “Jumpstart” which can be found at We do, however, believe that children can and should start to learn about money at pre-school or early elementary school age.