A high school student who takes a course in personal finance will reap a lifetime benefit of roughly $100,000, a new study says.

The calculable benefits of financial literacy include reduced credit and debt costs from better repayment habits and better credit scores, reduced student loan costs, reduced insurance costs, reduced borrowing costs and more retirement funds and other assets, according to the study by Boston-based Tyton Partners, an education sector consulting and investment banking firm, and Next Gen Personal Finance, a financial education advocate.

“High school personal finance education, when implemented effectively, improves students’ financial behavior, which improves their credit scores and therefore unlocks a cascading set of additional benefits throughout individuals’ lives,” the study stated.

The study found that the benefit varies by state, with a student in Maryland getting the highest benefit at $129,000 and a student in Nebraska getting the lowest at $81,000.

The benefits from one high school course are felt the most later in life, according to the study.

From ages 18 to 30, students will benefit by roughly $8,000 because they should have a better understanding of how credit works, the study found.

From 30 to 60, those students will buy homes, cars and insurance, and their financial skills would benefit them by another $40,000.

From ages 60 to 80-plus, students would accrue another $50,000 in benefits from the personal finance course, the study found.

“Factoring credit card debt/interest, considering home and auto benefits (loans and insurance), and now bringing in one’s retirement assets, benefits grow even further later in one’s life,” the study stated. “Our benefits here assume that financial education leads to improved rates of financial literacy, which leads to improved rates of financial planning, which may contribute to 2–3X greater wealth at retirement.”

As of March, only 24% of students live in states where a course is guaranteed while they are in high school, but such classes are becoming more widely available, the study said. From 2019 to 2023,  the number of states requiring such a course quadrupled from six to 25.

Quoting a Financial Industry Regulation Authority’s statistic that 66% of Americans could be considered financially illiterate, the study said financially illiterate people often take on too much debt, which in turn leads to “a cascade of negative outcomes.”

“Along the road to adulthood, students encounter a series of financial decisions, whether explicit ones, such as purchasing a car or home, or ones with implicit financial implications, like starting a family," the study stated. "Their behavior throughout the life journey shapes the wealth accumulated over time and retained at the end."