The Importance of Personal Finance Education In College

As I made my class schedule a few weeks ago I was sad to realize there were no personal finance courses available. I’m enrolled in a Finance course but it’s the usual corporate finance tricky exam questions kind of course. The lack of personal finance education got me thinking about the importance of personal finance education in college.

There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

– Flannery O’Connor

Personal finance lessons should be taught early. Some would argue that high school is the correct time to teach young folks about money management. I think that college is the ideal time because it is your first true taste of freedom. You have the freedom to decide if you will attend class. You have the freedom to get drunk (permitted you are of age of course) when you want. You have the freedom to spend your money any way you would like to. All of this freedom may be too much for a college student. This is why personal finance education is important to teach young people so that they can properly manage their money and make optimal decisions for their future.

The importance of personal finance can not be understated. There are many common myths about personal finance in college that need to be flushed down with the water you chug after a night of drinking. College students need to realize that they can’t solely relying on “making a boatload of money” one day as their means of financial preparing themselves for the future. Sure you will make more money once you graduate from college but that shouldn’t be used as rationalization for racking up debt now.

Personal finance basics in college should consist of a variety of topics. You can not teach personal finance basics without mentioning opportunity cost, frugality, spending less than you earn, and the value of doing things yourself. Personal finance facts are essential to absorb before college students spiral out of control with their finances. College is a time where many people will acquire debt that requires them many years to pay off.

In the more advanced personal finance course in college you could discuss topics such as; debt reduction, student debt loan consolidation, investing in yourself, moving up in your career, investing in real estate, and much more. By offering basic and advanced personal finance education in college a majority of college graduates would have a great wealth of information that would save them from many potential mistakes in the future.

We can’t all just listen to what Suze Orman says about personal finance. We need to learn about managing money from an early age so that we can develop our own thoughts before relying on so called “experts” to come rescue us. Dave Ramsey can help us get out of debt but college students need personal finance education to avoid relying on the work of Ramsey in their late 20s to help them pay off their debt.

Do you guys agree that there should be personal finance education in college?

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Personal Finance Education In College”

  1. I agree with you. I think there should be an option to take a personal finance class. I was lucky in that my basic finance professor, mixed in a little bit of personal finance when he was teaching the time value of money. I became interested and started to learn about personal finance on my own. Still, I see so many of my friends, who are going to have lucrative careers, but are ill prepared to manage their own finances.

  2. At my university there is a scheme called Give It A Go which basically holds one-off taster sessions for people who might be interested in joining a society or a club e.g. jitsu, learn beginners mandarin, wine-tasting, harry potter tour, billy elliot theatre (so the last two is more about experiences)

    It got me thinking about whether it would be possible to run a few sessions of ‘Make the most of your Student Budget’. What’s great is that anyone can run these sessions, so I as a student am also able to if I can offer some skills.

    I think the lack of availability in the curriculum or extra-curriculum means that no one’s really getting the option to take personal finance education. I also feel that it can’t be made into a compulsory subject as it is often deemed as a subject that should be taught at home. However I guess it’s all about getting in there early so that kids grow up with it as a normal part of their education and not some extra thing when they reach secondary school or uni.

    Do you think if the option were there that people would take it?

  3. Good advice. Like others have said, a credit card could actually be very good for some college students. I’ve had mine since I’ve been a senior in high school, and now as a senior at my university I have pretty good credit. I’ve not once carried a balance, and I’m careful to only put necessary things on the card.

  4. Wow..its an amaing Love to read it and follow this amazing advice.credit card is really an awesome thing to have with us.but to use it in good manner and be careful to keep maintain the values thing is also an important.

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