Basic Finance Courses Benefit Students in Long-Term, Report Says

(Photo: Pexels, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Pexels, Creative Commons)

Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in the realm of financial education, has released a study showing that students who are taught lessons in personal finance in the classroom have an improved understanding and more self-confidence when it comes to managing their money well.

Ninety-four percent of high school pupils who have taken this kind of course say they understand how student loans work, and 79% report they comprehend how a 401(k) works. Students who have taken a course in personal money management are three times as apt to say that having $500 in the bank is more important than having a smartphone.

The study engaged 76,000 high school students nationwide for what was titled the Students and Money National Research Study, which is the first in an upcoming series to measure the impact of being financially literate on the next generation.

Of students who have taken such a course, 23% are less likely to use student loans to pay for higher education. Sixty-nine percent of them plan to use scholarships, 53% expect to have help from their parents, and 51% plan to fund their college costs themselves.

"It's promising that so many students are leaving high school with a solid foundation in handling money," said Anthony ONeal, youth and money expert, and speaker with Ramsey Solutions. "But what's even better is that the students are putting into practice what they're learning. And by doing so, they're creating good money habits that will pay off over their lifetimes."

Other benefits that students have gained from taking a personal finance course included confidence in budgeting, investing, and saving money. Also, pupils say they know they are able to earn an average monthly income of $243 or $3,000 a year. Two-thirds of young people who have taken such a course say they are making money. And eight in ten say they have designed a monthly budget and have a car they paid for by themselves.

The report was funded in part by an organization named Find Your Calling. This group wants to help youths answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The goal is to assist students in finding great careers and getting the education they need to reach those dreams.

The organization assesses students' interests and provides information on how to match occupations and institutions of higher learning that offer programs relevant to the student's interests.

The subjects were polled between April 7 and April 25, 2016, as part of Dave Ramsey's Financial Literacy Challenge. Dave Ramsey has made helping others take control of their money a priority. Using the program Ramsey Solutions, people are taught to build wealth, grow leadership skills, and better their lives by developing personally.

Ramsey, in his lectures, live events, books, columns, and radio programs, uses common sense teaching methods to give people the empowerment to live a quality life with no financial worries.

A new entry into Ramsey's organization is Anthony ONeal, who at 18 found himself deeply in debt, low on hope and direction, and confused. After he hit rock bottom, ONeal started over and became committed to helping students find their passions and pursue them. Since 2003, he has worked to help young people succeed financially, professionally, and personally.

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