Personal Finance: For is it lower or upperclassmen?


Sungie Cobb, Staff Writer

Here at Hillcrest High School, it is a requirement for all students to take a personal finance class. The course details everything from budgeting, bills, car depreciation, and even college tuition. It is truly an informative class, yet it is only available to lowerclassmen. This is troubling, as lowerclassmen are adjusting to high school, the class could be seen as just another boring period.  While the content is valuable, 14-15 year olds typically don’t have jobs or any obligation to make money, which makes the information they are taught about financial literacy less urgent and valued. Also, the information likely won’t be put into use until 4 years later, and let’s be honest, who remembers exactly what they learned freshman year?

Looking into Bremen Community High School Districts Handbook, our personal finance course is a graduation requirement available to typically 9th and 10th grade students. However, according to the, “each student shall be required to take [personal finance] for 50 minutes per day for a period of nine weeks in any of grades 9-12”. This means that our school is not required by our state to make the class exclusively lowerclassmen. 

This is not to invalidate lowerclassmen who are making financial decisions well before they turn 18, however with course content covering things like FAFSA and even advice on buying cars, it is more applicable to juniors and seniors.

While it is great that freshmen are getting a view into adulthood, I believe that it would be more beneficial to seniors who are experiencing exactly what the class is teaching. Seniors are at a pivotal point in their lives, where some are in the process of taking out student loans, and others seeking financial independence right out of high school. These things aren’t easy, so having financial guidance and professional advice could make or break how a senior chooses to spend and make money when they graduate. 

There could be various solutions to this, one being that personal finance becomes a progressive course over four years, with each year being more suited to each age group. However, with that being slightly unrealistic, this is why I feel that personal finance should be an upperclassmen dominated course, as they will value the content and be able to put it to use much sooner than any lowerclassmen would. This class would help students on their future endeavors financially.