Education

Utah Students Graded Top in Nation for Financial Literacy

Nearly 100 Zions Employees Teach More Than 10,000 Students

Don Milne | Photos courtesy of Zions Bank Jul 9, 2018

Utah is known for being best-in-nation for many things such as its great skiing, beautiful national parks and robust economy. What few people know, however, is that Utah is No. 1 in the U.S. for teaching financial literacy.

Every two years Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy grades each state on how well it teaches financial literacy in schools. Utah was one of just five states given an A grade in the 2017 Financial Report Card and the only A-plus grade. The center’s director John Pelletier says, “There is no other state in the nation that is taking financial literacy as seriously as Utah.”

Utah was one of the first states in the country to make financial literacy a required class for high school graduation, beginning in 2008. Each year, more than 45,000 students attend this class and learn money skills they will use as adults.

Zions Bank has been a longtime supporter of financial literacy efforts in both Utah and Idaho. During National Financial Literacy Month in April, Zions Bank employees visited hundreds of classrooms and taught students engaging lessons on the importance of savings. It’s all part of National Teach Children to Save Day, an American Bankers Association Education Foundation program that Zions has participated in for two decades.

In 2018, nearly 100 Zions Bank employees taught almost 10,000 students from K-12. Even Utah Gov. Gary Herbert joined in, teaching a class of enthusiastic grade schoolers.

“Success with money has less to do with how much you make, and more to do with spending less than you make,” says Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “Utah’s A-plus ranking clearly shows that Utah students are learning this lesson and making saving a lifetime habit.”

Zions bankers will be back in the schools this fall for Get Smart About Credit Day, sharing information on topics like ID theft and credit reports.

students learn about foreign currency
Boise Eagle and Chinden Financial Center Manager Neal Squires hosts a tour of the bank and educates second-grade students from Andrus Elementary School about foreign currency.
students learn about data privacy and security
Zions Bank Credit Analyst Colton McFarland, disguised as a secret agent, teaches fifth-graders at Butler Elementary about data privacy and security.
students learn during Teach Children to Save day
Credit Lending Portfolio Manager and VP Quinton Bennion spends time with students in Heber, Utah, on Teach Children to Save Day.
students learn about savings from Chris Bang
Arbon Elementary students learn about saving from Chris Bang, a Treasury Management relationship manager.
students learning during Teach Children to Save day
Zions Bank Monticello Teller Valerie Walker teaches students at Monticello Elementary School.
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert joins Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson and Marketing and Communications EVP Rob Brough at Mary Jackson Elementary School.
Senior Commercial Lender and SVP Mike Brough spends time with students in Cache Valley, teaching morning and afternoon classes the importance of saving money.
students learn from Jacqueline Hickman
Executive Banker Jacqueline Hickman teaches first-graders about saving at Hawthorne Elementary in Boise.
students learning from Don Milne and Heidi Prokop
Financial Literacy Manager and VP Don Milne joins Corporate Communications SVP Heidi Prokop to teach a class at Mary Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City.


Student filmmakers are educating their peers about savings by making videos for the American Bankers Association’s Lights, Camera Save! nationwide contest. In three of the last four years, Utah students were selected as finalists — a better representation than any other state. This year, Tooele High School senior Ryan Callister won $1,000 for his amusing video about a dollar bill debating with a student about whether to use the money for a vending machine or save it. (Search YouTube for 2017-2018 Lights, Camera, Save.)

Share This Article With Your Community