Mayo High School freshman campaigns to get financial literacy into Minnesota's education standards - Post Bulletin

Mayo Excessive Faculty freshman campaigns to get monetary literacy into Minnesota’s training requirements – Submit Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Tej Bhagra was nonetheless in center college when he began taking a category about monetary markets, however it wasn’t at his college. He sought it out.

Now a Mayo Excessive Faculty freshman, Bhagra is lobbying the state Legislature to include monetary literacy into the state training requirements. He is been utilizing his personal analysis of Rochester’s youth to make his case, which included the method of surveying greater than 3,000 of his friends.

“I enrolled in a web based course, The Arithmetic of Unstable Markets, to boost my information of shares, pyramid schemes, advanced formulation and the way the circulate of cash works inside markets,” Bhagra, now 15, wrote in a four-page abstract of his analysis. “It struck me that I used to be the one scholar from the Midwest, and boys outnumbered women 4 to 1.”

Taking that class led Bhagra to analyze the extent of monetary consciousness amongst college students like himself. He created an preliminary survey about monetary literacy amongst college students for a science undertaking whereas he was in center college.

He later expanded the survey, which led him to the chance of testifying about his outcomes earlier than the Ok-12 Training Finance Committee of the Minnesota of Representatives on Thursday, March 23.

In response to his outcomes, just one out of 4 college students have taken a monetary class, however two-thirds of those that have not confirmed a “sturdy want” to take action. He additional reported that 4 out of 5 college students need monetary training.

Bhagra’s analysis confirmed that scholar’s even have a lack of awareness about monetary issues that immediately have an effect on them. In his presentation to the training finance committee, he reported that “almost 80% of respondents had been unaware of the rates of interest of their financial savings accounts although a majority (70%) had a financial savings account.”

And but, college students’ consciousness of cryptocurrency was excessive, even when the precise possession of crypocurrency was lower than 5%.

“Nonetheless, contemplating the younger age of the survey inhabitants, this can be a outstanding statistic exhibiting how impressionable younger individuals should purchase speculative belongings which can be extremely risky,” Bhagra wrote within the abstract of his findings.

Tej Bhagra speaks on the Ok-12 Training Finance Committee on the Minnesota Home of Representatives, Thursday, March 23, 2023.


Though Bhagra could also be distinctive amongst his friends in his marketing campaign for monetary literacy, his analysis comes within the wake of others all through the state who’ve been advocates on the problem as nicely.

Within the means of talking earlier than the Training Finance Committee, Bhagra related with Julie Bunn, government director of the Minnesota Council on Financial Training.

“I used to be extraordinarily impressed along with his methodology,” stated Bunn, who’s a former legislator herself and holds a doctorate in economics. “And the design of his research, and the thoroughness and carefulness of his research for somebody as younger as him, notably when he began it.”

Bunn is concerned with the Monetary Literacy Coalition of Minnesota, which incorporates all kinds of voices, like Bhagra’s, advocating on the problem. In response to the coalition, “solely 7% of Minnesota highschool college students are assured to take a private finance course of at the least one semester previous to commencement.” The coalition additionally reported that “graduates of excessive faculties with assured monetary training are 21% much less prone to carry a steadiness on a bank card whereas in faculty.”

Bhagra could have taken a category on funds whereas in center college, however he was prompted to take action by listening to his father discuss finance. He was lucky to have that voice at residence mentoring him on the problem.

He realizes not each scholar has that guiding voice of their lives.

“There’s this argument that oldsters ought to train monetary literacy to their youngsters at residence,” Bhagra advised the Submit Bulletin. “But when mother and father do not have their very own monetary literacy, how will they train it to their youngsters?”

Tej Bhagra

Tej Bhagra, who’s in ninth grade at Mayo Excessive Faculty, is advocating for extra training about monetary literacy in Minnesota faculties. Tej is pictured on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, in Rochester.

Joe Ahlquist / Submit Bulletin

Jordan Shearer

Jordan Shearer covers Ok-12 training for the Submit Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State College in 2013 earlier than heading out to write down for a small newsroom within the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing issues full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 simply shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can attain Jordan at 507-285-7710 or

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