Thinking back to high school, I probably took one course that involved learning about personal finances. It is not just me who feels woefully unprepared to tackle future financial decisions; Fox Business has reported that 87% of American teenagers feel that they don’t know enough about personal finance. 

The Magis Core at Fairfield University offers the perfect opportunity to include a personal finance class that could bring students up to speed on what to expect after graduation. One of the main aspects of the core is to instill an ability in students to think critically, and what better way to propel this skill than by discussing how to problem-solve fluctuations or gains in income? 

One of the Magis Core requirements I had to satisfy was a mathematics course. I think if Fairfield allowed a personal finance course to fill this content area, more students would be leaving the university with a more thoughtful understanding of monetary responsibility. Like it or not, money is a huge component of daily life. Whether it’s learning how to invest, buying a house or budgeting, money is at the forefront. 

I was happy to learn that Fairfield actually already offers a personal finance course, FNCE 2190, which is intended for non-majors to learn about financial management through the lens of their own life. According to the course catalog, the class uses elementary principles of finance to discuss risk and return, stocks, health insurance and housing costs. If the course was listed under the Magis Core, perhaps more students would take advantage of its offerings. 

Fairfield also is home to a very impressive and innovative business school. According to the Fairfield website, Niche ranked the Dolan School of Business as being a part of the top 15% of colleges in America for finance and accounting. Year after year, it seems that Dolan rises in the ranks for having exceptionally strong programs. Considering the school’s bright reputation, more students who are not business majors would benefit from taking a course that such knowledgeable and respected educators lead. 

Personal finance courses are integral to a student’s learning experience because they can influence the decisions you make both while in school and out of school when you are in the workforce. After graduation, you will have to decide between options such as entering straight into the workforce, pursuing graduate school or taking time to travel. Whether it is figuring out how to finance grad school, allocating money for rent or simply just budgeting for groceries, financial responsibility is interwoven into every facet of life. 

Without the foundational principles of financial literacy, it would be very challenging to figure out these situations on the fly. A personal finance class would help set students up for success by even brainstorming how to be proactive in planning and funding these decisions. 

Of course, no matter how much you prepare for the future, obstacles or setbacks can also occur. That’s why having those basic principles and strategies mastered is so important. By putting in the energy now, there is less risk of unmanageable turmoil in the future. If a personal finance course was required as a part of the Magis Core or at least strongly encouraged, students would be more likely to learn about these topics. 

Fairfield is a school that provides countless classes, and it is easy to overlook or miss one. I am always amazed when I browse through the course offerings to see the plethora of unique and challenging classes. By highlighting a personal finance class and including it in the core, more students would gain knowledge on practical and useful skills necessary for financial stability.

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