Being financially literate is essential to being successful. Currently I am a senior at Winona State University, and I have yet to take out any loans.

I credit a large part of this accomplishment to the skills taught in Mrs. Pagel’s “Personal Finance” elective course at Century High School. This class taught basic money management and budgeting. Instead of being an elective that students choose whether or not to take, personal finance should be required for high school graduation.

Carly Urban, Maximilian Schmeiser, J. Michael Collins and Alexandra Brown’s study “The effects of high school personal financial education policies on financial behavior,” published in Economics of Education Review, found that financial education mandates work in positively changing the credit trajectory of young adults.

Typically, children receive allowances from their parents until they get a job where they make pretty consistent money. I know my relationship with money started at the end of my junior year of high school when I got my first job, at Panera. Luckily, I had an idea of how I wanted to balance my money because of Mrs. Pagel’s class.

The arts, and fitness classes hold enough importance to be required and the basic personal finance course should be there as well, unless personal finance is introduced before high school, deeming the class to not be required since it will already be common sense.

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By requiring a personal finance course for graduation in the Rochester Public Schools system, our youth can have foundation of financial literacy.

Samantha Soroos, Rochester