Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 Colleges That Are Taking on Personal Finance

As the economy struggles to recover from the downturn that has marked the past few years, many are focusing increased amounts of attention on their personal finances, hoping to spend less, save more, and plan for the future. The trouble is, the majority of young people have no idea where to start. A 2011 survey by Charles Schwab found that only 52% of high school students have savings accounts, even though 75% of them claim to be knowledgeable about money management. Somewhere along the line, students are missing out on key pieces of financial education and many schools are starting to take note.

Several states now require personal finance courses at the high school level, but colleges are getting in on the game as well, with some even making personal finance courses a requirement for graduation. Whatever the rules, it’s clear that young people need a bit of help when it comes to learning how to manage money, and these colleges are making sure that their students will be ahead of the game. Mark this year’s Financial Literacy Month by learning about just a few of the colleges and universities that are stressing financial education.

  1. Penn State Erie

    In a partnership with National Educators Council, Penn State Erie is taking part in the Financial EduNation Campaign. Starting in April 2012, the college will be providing free personal finance programs to students, parents, educators, and other organizations throughout the state as their part of promoting the campaign. Aimed at teens and young adults, the programs are completed online through a program that features celebrities, business leaders, and sports stars. So far, the school has reached out to more than 25,000 students in middle school through college, but they hope to expand the program during the coming month.

  2. Indiana University Kelley School of Business

    Students at this business school can get a crash-course in financial education in a sophomore course taught by Professor Brian Jbara. Jbara has reported an increased interest in his course in recent years, as students worried about a poor job market, student loan debt, and a generally poor economy look to build real-world skills before graduation. Jbara believes that helping students to learn more about their financial lives is critical to their success in their first jobs and beyond. His course has grown from just 25 students to 225 over the past 10 years he has been teaching it, a testament to the growing popularity of personal finance education on college campuses.

  3. NYU

    At NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, there are a number of personal finance courses students can take. While the courses may have been largely ignored in past years, that isn’t the case anymore, as students flock to the office to register for personal finance courses. In fact, the courses were so popular and had so much interest from students outside of professional fields that the school actually added several other sections to their line-up. In addition, the school has been approached by family members of students who want to learn more about how to address their own financial situations, and the school may branch out further in coming years to meet the needs of a community that increasingly wants to build better personal finance skills.

  4. Washington University, St. Louis

    Professor Michael Gordinier has taught a personal finance course at Wash U since 2003, open to any student at the school in their junior or senior year of study. Over the past few years, the course has grown in popularity and has become one of the better-attended and most-requested classes on campus, boasting a class size of almost 200 students, up from just 80 a decade ago. The course is often more full than that, however, as many business students often audit the course (they cannot take it for credit) just to get information. At the end of the semester, many students thank Gordinier for helping them save more or get out of debt, a big payoff for a semester of work. Gordinier thinks all schools should offer similar programs, which are currently pretty uncommon, to students so that they can learn practical skills in money management.

  5. Champlain College

    At Champlain College, students don’t get a choice when it comes to taking courses in finance; they’re required. Undergrads at Champlain must attend two sessions on financial literacy during their time at the school, a change that was made because administrators felt too many students were graduating without basic financial skills. The courses cover topics like credit scores, saving, budgeting, retirement, and credit strategies, among others. Students learn fundamentals that will help them get jobs, buy homes, and manage debt. In addition to the required courses, students at Champlain can continue their financial education through courses in student loans and employment benefits. The school hopes to host a financial literacy conference in the coming years.

  6. Drexel University

    If you want to take a personal finance course at Drexel University in Philadelphia, you had better get ready to battle for a spot. The last three times the school offered a personal finance course for business students the sections filled up almost immediately, forcing the school to schedule additional sections to meet the demand. While personal finance courses were limited to business majors in the past, the school is working to create additional sections of the course for non-business majors due to its overwhelming popularity. School administrators say they aren’t surprised by the number of students looking for practical, real-world information, especially in an uncertain job market.

  7. Baylor University

    Baylor University first launched a personal finance course 15 years ago at the request of parents who wanted their children to emerge from college with some practical skills under their belts. Franklin Potts, the professor teaching the class, now sees hundreds of students each semester. Potts believes that schools put too much emphasis on information that isn’t useful to everyday life, sacrificing lessons in important practical matters. And the course isn’t popular with just liberal arts majors; business school students flock to it as well, as many business courses don’t ever touch on issues like retirement, insurance, or budgeting.

  8. Wellesley College

    Called Econ 223, you might not realize this class even has anything to do with personal finance at first glance, but it’s helping students at Wellesley learn some pretty fundamental skills. Professors Anne Witte and Saundra Gulley inundate students with the essentials of personal finance, from insurance, to retirement funds, to managing credit. The duo created the course about five years ago when they noticed that students on campus seemed wholly unprepared to manage their own finances, and it remains a popular choice on campus today. Witte says that she believes every student should have to take a class like this one, so that they can learn from things in the classroom rather than making real-world mistakes.

  9. Kansas University

    Students at KU now have the option of taking a personal finance course during their time at the school, getting the chance to learn about topics like budgeting, bill paying, renting, retirement, investing, and even buying a home. The course was created in the fall of 2007 at the urging of parents and business school faculty who thought the school sorely needed a more practical financial course for students. Today, about 100 students from different majors and levels are enrolled in the course and it is growing in popularity as students reap the benefits of their newfound financial knowledge.

  10. Georgetown University

    Georgetown costs students a pretty penny to attend, so it only makes sense that it would offer a course to help students manage their financial lives. After all, they’re going to have some serious loans to pay back. Seniors at the school can take part in a series of financial literacy workshops that cover topics like loan repayment, spending, credit cards, taxes, and employment benefits. In addition to these workshops, the school’s alumni association also takes part in a series called Common $ense, where students can connect with alumni to learn about a variety of financial issues.

Taken From Online Colleges

No comments:

Post a Comment