Finance classes crucial for money management

Teach students how to avoid debt, be financially secure

Macy Rice

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Katherine Lindgren

More stories from Katherine Lindgren

Many students dread the required financial management credit, but learning to become financially literate has been proven to be quite beneficial for all whether they plan to begin college or their chosen career path. Financial literacy can help prepare students for the steep price of a college education. But college is only one of first large expenses students face after high school; there are also the expenses that come along with purchasing a house, vehicle and many other assets.

Every year, the National Financial Educators Council conducts the National Financial Literacy Test, which measures an individual’s ability to earn, save and grow their money. In 2015, out of 2,263 15 to 18 year-olds that participated, the test average was 61%. Thinking in terms of letter grades, that is a D-, a mere one percent away from a failing grade. Most students would not be content with that grade if they received it for, perhaps, a math test, so the same rules should apply to a financial literacy test.

In 2015, the NFEC asked 1,101 high school graduates ages 18-24 which high school course would benefit their life the most. The majority responded “financial management” as the course they believe would be the most beneficial to them.

According to the Council for Economic Education, along with Kansas, 16 other states require high school students to take a course in personal finance.

After implementing a financial education mandate, Georgia, Idaho and Texas all reported increased credit scores and lower delinquency rates on credit accounts. These three separate accounts prove that the financial education requirement is extremely beneficial.

Financial literacy translates to increased financial confidence, and allows consumers to be more informed, opposed to simply relying on others to make their financial decisions for them.

As previously stated, these courses educate students about how to manage college expenses. According to Champlain College, “many students attend college without understanding financial aid, loans, debt, credit, inflation and budgeting.”

If preparing students for the expenses of a college education is not enough, financial management courses also teach students how to spot scams, manage debt, and how to get the most out of money, and finally, the importance of setting financial goals.

Financial management courses can help anyone, no matter what situation they are in, whether they are preparing for college, or simply wanting to learn better methods of getting the most out of their hard earned dollars. The courses allow individuals to become more involved with the management of their own money, instead of just relying on financial institutions, such as banks, to make all of their decisions for them. When banks are the only ones handling individuals’ accounts, mistakes can happen, and these courses allow individuals to gain the knowledge necessary to prevent those mistakes.

Being financially literate has been proven to lead to increased financial security and stability. These courses provide knowledge that is beneficial throughout one’s entire life. So pay attention and take the class seriously, because in 30 years, something learned in this class might just come in handy.