What’s in it for me? How does it relate to my life?
As an economics teacher at Pequot Lakes High School, I am often asked these questions by my students. Perhaps one of the easiest topics in which to show practicality concerns that of personal finance.
Throughout this year, Pequot Lakes High School has worked in conjunction with Central Lakes College in offering a Personal Finance and Money Management course within our high school economics class.
Students participated in a 15-hour mini course on personal finance. Some students may earn one general credit from Central Lakes College if they have qualifying GPAs and test scores. There was no cost to the student, or the high school, for this credit.
The overall aim of this course is to familiarize seniors to money management and college access. In the 15-hour class given at the high school, students were exposed to such topics as credit cards, savings options, checkbook balancing, student loans/financial aid options, auto loans/leases, rent/mortgages, insurance and a plethora of terms associated with these topics.
The ultimate goal is for students to develop a sense of financial literacy.
Students were expected to hypothetically buy an automobile, purchase a house, compare credit card offers and complete an exam at the end of the unit. Students also started completing FAFSAs in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Moreover, guest speakers from the community also explained topics ranging from credit to the auto buying process.
This class, and credit, was funded by a grant through the Higher Education Opportunity Act. This same grant also helped alleviate costs of our school’s Reality Store life seminar held this past winter.
This mini-course is made possible by the following parties:
• The U.S. Department of Education funds the Higher Education Opportunity Act; it is administered through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
• Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union.
• Dotty Auto Company.
• Central Lakes College.
A sincere “thank you” to those people who helped contribute to this class.
(Dan Moddes is an economics teacher at Pequot Lakes High School.)