Students need to learn finance

 A US corporation income tax return 2011 form.

Internal Revenue Service

A US corporation income tax return 2011 form.

Lilly Merrill, Reporter

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As you leave high school and head out into the world you probably won’t need to remember how to factor equations or diagram sentences, but you’ll need to know how to handle money wisely and efficiently sooner rather than later.

According to a survey conducted by Ramsey Research in 2016, nearly 2 out of 3 high school students that took a personal finance course in high school reported that they were already earning an average of $3,000 a year. A high majority of them had a habit of creating monthly budgets for their money and 20% of them had a car they paid for by themselves.  The survey showed that taking a personal finance class really helps students get a jumpstart on their future. Developing those skills early in life helps to keep a habit of budgeting and saving money later on.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics in 2015, 69% of students enroll in college in the fall immediately following high school. For those entering college, often finance classes aren’t common. This leaves many students clueless about how to manage daily living expenses because they never learned the basics and they start falling into debt.

According to NFSC data, only 1 in 3 Americans understands financial expenses by the time they are 40. Many parents are uncomfortable about teaching their children financial literacy because they don’t know themselves. On the other hand, having a class in schools about finance would help solve that issue and maybe even teach parents too. It would also help students feel less distressed in their last year of high school to learn those skills.

Having a class at Highland about personal finance would be very beneficial to students looking into colleges or just wanting to start investing at a young age. “The IEF study found “notable improvements” in credit outcomes for young adults ages 18-22 in three states — Idaho, Georgia, and Texas….” This study shows that students taking these classes showed improvements.

Having a finance class available for students to enroll would most definitely help them in college and adulthood.  A  math teacher at Highland said, “It would be great if Highland could teach a finance class. They could teach how to balance a checkbook, save money, do taxes, have no debt and interest. These skills should also be parent supported as well because teachers can’t teach everything.”

“We would not allow a young person to get in the driver’s seat of a car without requiring driver’s education, and yet we allow our youth to enter the complex financial world without any related education. An uneducated individual armed with a credit card, a student loan and access to a mortgage can be nearly as dangerous to themselves and their community as a person with no training behind the wheel of a car.”