There’s a course not taught in every high school but required for life. In a few years, personal finance courses will be a requirement for graduation.
OHIO, USA — Changes are coming to high school curriculums around the state as legislators look to better prepare students for adulthood. In the coming years, high school students will be required to take a course in personal finance.
“I’m so excited that this is going to be a requirement here in Ohio,” said Elizabeth Scheiderer, senior financial advisor at NCA Financial Planners. “If you can limit yourself from making mistakes early on in your life and having to unwind those later, why not start with the right information when you’re young and ready to listen.”
Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law which requires Ohio students take at least one half-credit course prior to graduation starting in the 2024-2025 school year. Some schools around the state already offer programs that meet the requirement, but many do not. Students already enrolled in personal finance courses say it may be the most important class they take.
“I would say, undoubtedly the most important. Because it helps you manage your money,” said Emmanuel Velkos, a junior at North Royalton High School. You know where all your money is going and you’re in control. It’s like a goldmine. It’s you investing in your future by budgeting and planning everything out.”
His personal finance course teaches him methods for budgeting, how to stay out of debt and eventually investing long-term – to name a few.
Velkos spoke highly of the curriculum saying, “If you are not taking this class, you are severely missing out on being able to invest and plan for your future.”
“We’re seeing more and more of an awareness that the more we can educate, especially at a younger age, the more we can actually help everyone here move forward with good financial steps,” said Scheiderer.
“In today’s world with credit cards and debit cards and a lot of different options, the idea of needing to spend less than you make is so, so important to really take in.”
Ohio is now the tenth state to require courses in financial literacy and the largest state to do so with more than 600 school districts. It’s an important step that students and experts believe will make the next generation better prepared.
“And now this, making it a requirement, more students will take it,” said Velkos. “And if other states follow, maybe this can be the first generation that ends long-term debt completely. Because this class truly helps you out that much.”
As many as 26 states and Washington, D.C. have introduced legislation to require finance courses for high school students. Most of that legislation has come in the last few years.
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Editor’s note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, unrelated story.